Wednesday, June 21, 2006

In Memoriam: Jaime Cardinal Sin (1974-2005)

<bgsound src= loop="infinite">"...with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship,
as we walked with the throng at the house of God."

(Ps 55: 14)

We pay tribute to the memory of His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin, who last year went home to the Father's bosom on this day, 21 June.

Who will forget his presiding at liturgy, even during those last years when he was weak and fragile? He understood the meaning of gracious presiding, even when he always maintained the principle of 'noble simplicity' and sometimes shunned liturgies that were overly extended. And even when as a seminarian, he worried about not making it to the priesthood because he did not sing as good as others, he knew well how to sing to the Lord from the heart while leading God's people in worship.

Who will forget the two EDSAs? The courage of this man, who dared to invite his 'friends' to the streets to stand for justice and freedom, who dared to strongly confront corruption and immorality in high government, not only toppled two dissolute regimes, but protected his flock and upholded the values of the Kingdom. In those times of trouble, people found in him a voice they can trust in the midst of uncertainty, a true shepherd's voice that led them to the valleys of green pasture and flowing water, that brought them to peace.

Who among us will ever forget this shepherd so filled with love for his flock? He always cherished the priests of Manila, weak and imperfect as they were, as the 'best' in the world. When he said to the flock, as he used to do often, "Always remember, I love you all very dearly." everyone felt the sincerity of the love he had always shown: in his fatherly concern for the Church, in his defending the rights of the oppressed, in his active compassion for the poor; he did not even need to cross his heart.

Ecce Sacérdos magnus qui in diébus suis plácuit Deo. Ideo jurejurándo fecit illum Dominus créscere in plébem súam.

Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God.
Therefore, by an oath, the Lord made him increase among his people.


Lord, lead at last to your bosom this shepherd who cradled your people in his heart and grant him the reward promised to all your faithful servants through Christ our Lord.