The country’s Catholic prelates have joined the nation in celebrating the victory of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz who made history after winning the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal in the on-going Tokyo games.
Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula said Diaz inspires all Filipinos, especially athletes. “Thank you, Hidilyn for the tremendous honor you have bestowed on our country. Your success gives light, inspiration, and hope to all of us, especially in these difficult times,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The Cardinal also acknowledged the faith of Diaz and for always trusting God in all fights she competed in. “Thank you also for the testimony of your strong faith in God and deep love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thank you for reminding us that there is no real success if it does not come from God,” he added.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also congratulated Diaz over her victory.
“On behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, I extend my utmost gratitude to Hidilyn for bringing honor to our country with her determined spirit and undying passion for what she does,” CBCP president Archbishop Romulo Valles said in a statement.
“Her victory was captured through many lenses and in one of these photos was her holding the gold medal and wearing a Miraculous Medal of Our Lady on her chest. We admire her devotion to the Blessed Mother as she carried in her victory her great faith in God. Hidilyn is a true weightlifter who draws her strength from her love for the country and her deep Catholic faith,” he added.
Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos, for his part, said Diaz’s victory showed that people can conquer challenges in their lives.
“With the victory of Hidilyn Diaz at the Olympics, winning gold she has shown to us that Filipinos can. We can rise up from all challenges in life. We can surmount all obstacles. Taking what she has done and said, let us have faith in God, believe in ourselves, and do all for our Country. With God for gold through the Miraculous Medal. Congratulations Hidilyn. You make us proud as Filipinos,” the Bishop added.
In 2018, Hidilyn guested at the 5th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization 5 (PCNE 5) in ‘Listening Heart with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’ where she shared that part of being an athlete is to fall, lose and get hurt but the athlete emphasized faith to God and to the ability bestowed.
Hidilyn Diaz is due to arrive in Manila Wednesday afternoon, July 28.