Millions Of Filipinos Witnessed
the Visit of Pope Francis In the Philippines
“You are our friend, our inspiration, our raincoat in the rain and sunshine when it is cloudy. Pope Francis, we love you,” Villegas said Sunday before the pontiff gave his final blessing during his concluding Mass at Luneta.
“Holy Father, you are our sunshine. For many days since you came, it has always been a sunrise of smiles for us Filipinos. We are not feeling the rain. You have brought us joy, you have brought us hope, you have brought us warmth. You have brought us Jesus,” he added.
“Please receive our message of gratitude for celebrating the Sto. Niño feast today,” Villegas told a smiling Pope.
In the same message, Villegas waxed poetic about the power of Pope Francis’ words on the faith of Filipino Catholics, calling the Holy Father’s love for Pinoys “typhoon-proof.”
“The sun is now setting on Manila Bay. The romantic poets among us call the Manila Bay sunset view the most beautiful sunset in
the world. Some of us are afraid of the sunset as we are afraid of the dark, but we are not afraid anymore, because yesterday in Tacloban, you taught us that love casts away all fears. Your love for the Filipino people is stronger than all typhoons; your love is typhoon-proof,” he said.
Finally, Villegas promised not to forget the pontiff’s words to spread the message of Catholic faith.
“Holy Father, when you give us the blessing tonight, we will be your lights. We will light Asia and the world with mercy and compassion of Jesus. We will light the world with the joy of the gospel,” he said. — BM, GMA News
Cardinal Tagle’s Thanksgiving Message to Pope Francis in Luneta:
Most Holy Father,
In the name of the Archdiocese of Manila, the people who worked tirelessly for your pastoral visit, and the Filipinos whom you have been strengthened in faith these past days, I once again say Thank You. I say “Maraming Salamat po” (Thank you very much) on behalf of the street children, the orphans, the widows, the homeless, the informal settlers, the laborers, the farmers, the fisher folk, the sick, the abandoned elderly, the families of missing persons, the victims of discrimination, violence, abuse, exploitation, human trafficking, the Filipino migrant workers and their families, the survivors of natural calamities and armed conflicts, the non-Christian Catholics, the followers of non-Christian religions, the promoters of peace especially in Mindanao and creation that groans. We say again, “Maraming salamat po, Santo Padre.”
You often end your encounters with people by saying, “I ask you to pray for me.” We promise to pray for you. But we
want to assure you that Jesus prays for you. Jesus himself declared to Peter, “I have prayed for you that you own faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:32). Your Holiness, you are blessed. Jesus prays for you. We your beloved Filipinos unite ourselves with Jesus in praying for you to God the Father.
You arrived in the Philippines three days ago. Tomorrow you will go. Every Filipino wants to go with you – not to Rome – but to the peripheries, to the shanties, to prison cells, to hospitals, to the world of politics, finance, arts, sciences, culture, education, and social communications. We will go to these worlds to bring the light of Jesus, Jesus who is the center of your pastoral visit and the cornerstone of the Church. We will go where the Light of Jesus is needed. Here in Luneta, the Qurino Grandstand, where heroes are revered, newly elected presidents take office and popes meet the Filipino faithful, here in a place of new beginnings, send us forth as missionaries of the light. Before you go, Holy Father, send us to spread the light of Jesus. Wherever the light of Jesus shines, you and the Filipino people will always be united. Mabuhay, Santo Padre! Mabuhay si Kristo! Let the light of Christ shine!
(from Vatican Radio)