Catholics in the Philippines are looking forward to seeing Pope Francis during his Papal visit, which take place January 15 – 19. The Catholic News Service says that the pontiff's upcoming visit will give Filipino Catholics a big morale boost, particularly as their country has experienced serious challenges recently.
The upcoming Pope Francis visit will be the first the Philippines have seen since Pope John Paul II visited Manila in 1995. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the pontiff plans to roam through 58-hectare Rizal Park, mingling with and blessing the faithful before celebrating mass. Hundreds of thousands plan to be in attendance on January 18, and both the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will be on hand to provide security.
Is Pope Francis frightened by the prospect of mingling with so many people in a public setting? Not at all, according to Reverend Rufino Sescon Jr., executive secretary of the papal visit committee.
"That's what the pope wants. Even in Rome, that is done. Before the Mass, the Pope goes around to greet the people. He wants to really meet and bless everyone because that will be his only chance to do so."
Pope Francis plans to meet with Filipino youths at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday, January 18. Although this event is open to the public, the UST grandstand and football field will be open to designated youth delegates only. The mass at Rizal Park will follow.
There are no tickets required to attend events where Pope Francis presides. Instead, the papal visit committee advises the public to arrive early.
[Pope Francis image via presstv.ir]