Inspired by the national logo of the 2015 Papal Visit to the Philippines, the event logo for the Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to the Archdiocese of Palo illustrates the interior meaning of his visit as a spiritual pilgrimage.
Dominating the logo is a yellow shepherd’s staff shaped like a Chi-Rho, an ancient symbol of Christ – Christ who is our Savior and Lord. It also represents pope and his ministry as the universal pastor of the Church and as the vicar of Christ. It is also represented as a pilgrim’s staff denoting his coming to the archdiocese and to the places devastated by typhoon Haiyan.
At the center of the logo is a perspective of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration, characterized by its iconic twin belfries. As mater et caput ecclesia – the mother church of the archdiocese, it represents the entire Archdiocese of Palo which has been blessed by the singular grace of a visit of the Holy Father himself.
The human figures below the Cathedral are shaped like a wave to illustrate the storm surge that devastated Eastern Visayas in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan. Facing together in a single direction, they also represent the pilgrim Church of Palo with their hands linked together, expressing the bonds of communion that unite the faithful as a diocese and the diocese with the universal Church. As a pilgrimage, the papal visit will be primarily a spiritual event and the faithful will come as pilgrims traveling on a spiritual journey. Like the Church on a pilgrimage, the event will be filled with worship, prayer, reflection, catechesis and fellowship. The preparatory, pre-event, actual and post-event program should reflect the spiritual significance of the event as applied to the brand experience identified for the event. The Emmaus “walk” could be a meaningful reflection of this pilgrimage experience. The local Church of Palo, like the two disciples accompanied by Christ, will travel to gather around the pope who opens the Scriptures and reveals Christ in the Breaking of the Bread. Then after recognizing Christ, the disciples ran back to testify before the rest of the apostles; in the same way, the local Church should be renewed and inspired to carry out the mission of the New Evangelization, proclaiming the joy of the Gospel to the lost, the last and the least.
The spiritual meaning of the papal visit is also represented by the shape of two hands lifted up high in prayer, thanksgiving and supplication. The colors are in red and blue, the national colors of the Philippines. It represents our people’s cry for help and blessing in this very difficult time in the life of the local Church. The two shapes of red and blue also depict the embrace of a merciful and compassionate God who has lovingly drawn all people to himself in their time of need, confusion and pain. It invites to reflect on that divine embrace by which as we lift up ourselves to God, he who humbled himself to share our humanity –will tightly embrace us unto his arms.
The Father comes to us, like a shepherd he embraces us, rich in mercy and full of compassion.
Acknowledgements: Logo designed by Adrian del Monte, PIID and Rev. Fr. Mark Ivo Velasquez