One of the highlights of Pope Francis’s trip was when he went to the Philippines to give a message of hope to the victims of typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the provinces of Leyte and Samar. His Holiness flew to the Philippines right after his visit to Sri Lanka.
It seemed as if he prioritized his visit to the Philippines. Of course, judging from the amount of destruction wreaked upon by the infamous 2013 typhoon, widespread media coverage from all over the globe brought the whole matter to the Pope.
As he arrived, millions of people gathered to see him. His first destination was the capital city of Manila, where he met with the Philippine President, Benigno Aquino III. But that was not the best part of his trip. It was when he flew to Tacloban City that he moved everyone with his pastoral message, and at the same time, he was moved as well by the people he brought the message to.
A huge crowd of devotees gathered around to see him, despite the stormy weather, which forced him to cut his trip short. Donning yellow and white raincoats, the crowd listened attentively to His Holiness, braving the damp conditions. Security was something essential, so it was important that hundreds of police officers be deployed within the vicinity. Nevertheless, nothing dire happened and Pope Francis was able to deliver his homily on a high note during the Papal Mass.
As he flew back to Manila—where he celebrated the Mass once again—he left behind memories of joy and anticipation of God’s promises in Tacloban and inspired devotees to live a life pleasing to God, upholding the teachings of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis’s charisma truly left a mark to those who joined him in prayer, most especially the survivors of what was hailed one of the most powerful typhoons in history.
What is next for Pope Francis? Recently, he expressed interest in meeting with the Dalai Lama to discuss and connive with the Tibetan Buddhist leader on matters of peace. When it will happen, we will have to wait a little bit longer.