The Holy Father Shows Mercy and Compassion to Filipinos
The most awaited Papal Visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015 was a milestone in the history of the Catholic Church. The Filipinos were quite jubilant. Some who were not able to see the Pope in person or attend his mass were constantly glued to the television just to see what is happening. The theme for the Pope’s Visit was “Mercy and Compassion”. He arrived on January 15, at around 5:00 pm. Before he got off the airplane, he was seen peeking through the window a number of times, genuinely smiling. He was undeniably excited and happy to be here. When Pope Francis finally got off, the looks on the faces of the Filipinos who welcomed him were indescribably happy and joyous. Greetings were given by President Benigno Aquino III and some of the highest officials in the government and military service. They had a little chat afterwards. After the ceremony, he was welcomed by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishops and the Bishops. Pope Francis gave Cardinal Tagle a hug like they were long lost brothers. After that, he went straight to the Apostolic Nunciature using his pope mobile especially made for him waving and smiling to all Filipinos along the way who patiently and tirelessly waited for him to pass by. The so called “People’s Pope” went to different places particularly to the University of Sto. Tomas, a pontifical university and in Tacloban where he really intended to go to console and express his love for the typhoon Yolanda victims. On January 18, 2015, Pope Francis had his culminating mass at the Quirino Grandstand which gave the Philippines a record breaking event for its largest papal crowd in the history. The Filipinos were truly blessed to have the Pope’s presence in the country for five days making the Philippines a crime free zone in the world for at least within those days. As a stated expectation in the papal message, many anticipate that soon Filipinos will emerge as “Outstanding Christian Missionaries”. May our countrymen remember to make decision and act accordingly based on a sound mind and heart. The pope further councouraged the Filipinos to think well, feel well and do well.