MANILA, Jan. 17, 2015—“Let us not forget to thank God that our Holy Father flew in safe.”
This was the appeal made by a teacher from Navotas City to fellow Catholics, reminding them to express gratitude to God for Pope Francis’ safe arrival, and to pray as well for the rest of his stay in the Philippines.
“The Pope always prays for us. This time, we should pray for him. Let’s pray constantly for the health and safety of the Holy Father. It would be unacceptable of a predominantly Catholic nation as ours if something bad happens to him,” shared educator Roland Reyes, whose comments take on new light with the sudden change in the Holy Father’s Leyte itinerary because of a Signal No. 2 alert raised over Tacloban City brought on by tropical cyclone Amang.
According to him, praying, especially holding regular Eucharistic Adorations, will see to it that evil elements will have no chance at sabotaging the apostolic visit.
“Not on our watch… As Catholics and as Filipino citizens, it’s our duty to ensure the safety of the Holy Father while in the country,” he explained.
“Let’s also thank the ordinary people who welcomed Pope Francis … for their discipline,” he added.
While Reyes was not part of the crowd who lined up the streets on the way to the Apostolic Nunciature Thursday, Jan. 15, to welcome the Pope, the little he had glimpsed of His Holiness on television was more than enough to bring him to tears.
“I was watching his motorcade … when I suddenly caught myself tearing up. It was unexplainable. I had goose bumps,” he said, noting that the Holy Father’s charisma was comparable to that of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
A religion teacher, Reyes shared he had given his students catechesis on the papacy weeks ahead of Pope Francis’ visit.
“We also held quiz bees in our school in which students bested on another on their knowledge of the Holy Father,” he said. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)