Pope Francis takes time to bless two girls during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, 21 Jan 2015. (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

VATICAN City, Jan. 23, 2015— As he reviewed his recent trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis reiterated his call to the Filipino youth to continue serving others, especially the poor.

“I wanted to offer [the youth] my encouragement for their efforts in contributing to the renewal of society, especially through their service to the poor and the protection of the natural environment,’ Pope Francis said, speaking to pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall because of the rain on Wednesday,

The Holy Father encouraged them to build a society of integrity and compassion for the poor.

“Care for the poor is an essential element of our Christian life and witness — because corruption steals from the poor — and requires a culture of honesty,” he explained.

Pope Francis said he was hoping that there will be more compassion for the poor after his visit to the Philippines, a country still reeling from poverty and recent calamities.

He earlier said the main message of his recent trip to the Philippines was the poor, especially those who suffered from super typhoon Yolanda “and are continuing to suffer the consequences.”

The pontiff said he also had in mind “the poor who face many injustices — social, spiritual and existential.”

He also galvanised young Catholics to speak out on prevailing environmental issues, which his undelivered speech for the Jan. 18 Encounter with the Youth at the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) also mentioned. (CBCPNews)