Pope Francis visited the Philippines in January 2015. He expressed his empathy with those who suffered the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda, addressing to them a message of mercy and compassion. The Pope highlighted the need for solidarity with the poor.
PUBLISHED ONDec 2021
Coming to our beloved country on January 15-19, 2015, Pope Francis captured the hearts and minds of millions of Filipinos, emphasizing the theme of mercy and compassion. The Pope highlighted the need for solidarity with the poor because “the poor are at the center of the Gospel; if we take away the poor from the Gospel, we can’t understand the whole message of Jesus Christ…. Only by becoming poor ourselves, by stripping away our complacency, will we be able to identify with the least of our brothers and sisters.”
In his homily in Tacloban, Pope Francis proclaimed a profound message of faith. “Jesus goes before us always; when we experience any kind of cross, he is already there before us. And, if today we find ourselves here … fourteen months precisely after the Typhoon Yolanda hit, it is because we have the security of knowing we will not weaken in our faith, because Jesus has been here before us.”
Heartfelt Words. “I’d like to tell you something close to my heart. When I saw from Rome that catastrophe, I had to be here. And on those very days, I decided to come here. I am here to be with you–a little bit late, but I’m here! I have come to tell you that Jesus is Lord. And he never lets us down…. Jesus is there, nailed to the cross, and from there he does not let us down.”
“The Lord from the cross is there for you…. So many of you have lost everything. I don’t know what to say to you. But the Lord knows…. All I can do is keep silent and walk with you all with my silent heart.” Truly, heartfelt words from a compassionate and loving father!
Missionaries of Faith. During his final Eucharist at the Luneta, Pope Francis asserted: “These words have a special resonance in the Philippines, for it is the foremost Catholic country in Asia; this is itself a special gift of God, a special blessing. But it is also a vocation. Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.”
“Now, at the end of my visit to the Philippines, I commend you to him, to Jesus who came among us as a child…. May the Santo Niño continue to bless the Philippines and to sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world”!