Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila. SCREENSHOT/RCAM-AOC
The head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church on Saturday announced that he has fully recovered from Covid-19 after contracting the virus last month.
Cardinal Jose Advincula, who tested positive for the virus on Sept. 17, released a video message on the archdiocese’s Facebook page to announce the news.
“I was among the more than two million Filipinos who got Covid-19. I experienced fear and hardship due to the illness,” Advincula said.”Thanks be to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph, I recovered from the illness.”
The 69-year-old added that the vaccine helped him fight off the coronavirus.
The cardinal then encouraged everyone to get vaccinated and continue to take all safety measures.
“I was able to prove that the vaccine is a big help to fight Covid-19. So I am urging everyone to get vaccinated for your safety as well as for the safety of others,” Advincula said.
He also extended thanks to the people who checked upon him and urged the faithful to continue praying for the sick and for frontliners.
“We have many brothers and sisters who did not survive Covid-19. We always include them in our prayers and Masses, including the loved ones they left behind,” he said.
The cardinal is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Vatican announced the appointment of Cardinal Advincula to lead the Manila Archdiocese on March 25, 2021, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord. Advincula succeeded Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who is now the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican.
Cardinal Advincula received the red hat and ring on June 18, in what was his last big event in the Capiz archdiocese. In a simple yet solemn ceremony, Advincula knelt before the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, who bestowed upon him the cardinal’s insignia.
Only two bishops and a few dozens of priests, all in masks, were in attendance, sitting spaced apart before a very limited audience and guests. This is the result of ongoing restrictions in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Born on March 30, 1952, in Capiz’s Dumalag town, Advincula was ordained a priest for the archdiocese in 1976.
The 68-year old cardinal was the spiritual director of the St. Pius X Seminary, where he was also a professor and dean of education.
He subsequently began his studies in psychology at the De La Salle University of Manila, and in canon law at the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas of Manila, and at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas-Angelicum in Rome, obtaining a licentiate in canon law.
Back home, he served in the seminaries of Vigan, Nueva Segovia, and in the regional seminary of Jaro.
In 1995, he was appointed rector of the St. Pius X Seminary of Capiz and became the Defender of the Bond, promoter of justice, and finally judicial vicar of the archdiocese.
Advincula then became parish priest of Saint Thomas of Villanueva in Dao in 1999.
He was appointed bishop of San Carlos in July 2001 and was transferred to Capiz in 2011, after the retirement of Archbishop Onesim Cordoncillo.
In October last year, the pope named Advincula as among the 13 new cardinals. He was elevated at a consistory on November 28, 2020.