Puerto Princesa (Agenzia Fides) - Making the Gospel understandable and "connecting with God" the populations who speak the indigenous Cuyonon language, settled mainly on the island of Palawan and on other islands in the center of the Philippines: With this intention, a translation of the New Testament into the Cuyonon language was presented in Puerto Princesa, coinciding with the 151st anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in Palawan and at the time when the Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay (which cover the entire island) celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Christian faith in the Palawan area, which took place in 1622, when the Augustinian Recollect missionaries arrived in the city of Cuyo.
The work, a "faithful translation" of the fifth edition of the Greek New Testament of the United Bible Societies, is an initiative of the "Philippine Bible Society", an ecumenical movement that brings together specialists and biblical scholars of different denominations.
During the presentation, Bishop Sócrates Mesiona, Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Princesa, pointed out that "the Word of God translated into a local language can be better understood by people. The ultimate goal of translating the Bible into an indigenous language like Cuyonon arises from an innate desire to relate more deeply to God," he said. "The Lord speaks to each one of us through his Word. By listening to it in our mother tongue, it will now be easier for us to understand his will, follow him and be his disciples", added the Bishop, speaking on behalf of the local community.
The Cuyonon version of the New Testament is a five-year work carried out by a team of translators and experts formed in 2017. Starting from a previous and pre-existing partial version, the Cuyonon Gospel has been updated, revised, completed.
Cuyonon is a regional language spoken in Palawan, Cuyo and neighboring islands. The Summer Institute of Linguistics classifies it as belonging to a subgroup of the Visayan, the largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines. People from other ethnic groups in Palawan are also fluent in this language because for centuries it was the "lingua franca" (language used for communication and trade) in Palawan province and was used until recently when the migratory flow of Luzon people (who spoke Tagalog) increased rapidly. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 30/3/2023)
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