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Pope’s PHL tour revealed: Francis to break bread with poor, Yolanda survivors


Pope Francis will have lunch with the poor and the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) at the residence of the Archbishop of Palo during his five-day visit in the country in January, the organizing committee of the papal visit disclosed on Friday.

The Pope will be at 11 venues in Manila and Leyte during his visit to the Philippines from January 15 to January 19. 
 
In the itinerary, the Pope is to arrive in Manila from Sri Lanka past 5 p.m. on January 15, and go on a motorcade to the Apostolic Nunciature along Taft Avenue in Manila.
 
"The Nunciature, which is the embassy of the Holy See, will be the Pope’s official residence in the Philippines," the Papalvisit.ph site said.

Malacañang, Tacloban, UST
 
On January 16, the Pope will be officially welcomed by President Benigno Aquino III at Malacañan Palace in Manila.
 
He will also meet Philippine authorities and members of the Diplomatic Corps at a Palace reception.

"Pope Francis will be here not only as the leader of the Roman Catholic, but he is also the head of state of the Vatican, and as such, his Holiness will be extended all the courtesies provided to visiting heads of state," Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said.
 
A motorcade to the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros follows, where he will take part in a Mass with bishops, priests, and religious.
 
The Pope will then meet with families at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
 
On January 17, the Pope will visit Palo Archdiocese and offer a Mass near Tacloban Airport in the morning. The province of Leyte is one of the provinces hardest hit by Yolanda.
 
Pope Francis will then have lunch with the poor and survivors of natural calamities at the residence of the Archbishop of Palo.
 
Afterwards, he will bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor in Palo, and visit the Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration (Palo Cathedral) to meet with priests and religious.
 
On January 18, the Pope will meet religious leaders and young people at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
 
In the afternoon, he will go on a motorcade for the Concluding Mass at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.
 
Pope Francis will leave for Rome on January 19.

People surge

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle announced the Pope's official itinerary in a news conference at the Arzobispado de Manila on Friday.

Tagle was joined by Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines; Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications; Presidential Spokesperson Herminio Coloma; former Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Marciano Paynor, who arranged Pope John Paul II's papal visit in 1995; and Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa.

Tagle also said the symbolism behind the Pope's visit mattered, and the quality of his encounters during his two-day stay in Manila will mean a lot to those who suffered a different kind of tragedy in the city.

"The pastoral visit of Pope Francis will surely bring much blessing to all of us, especially to the poor, the survivors of calamities both natural and human-caused, to the victims of different kinds of injustice," he said.
 
Archbishop John F. Du of Palo in a statement said the visit to Palo was a "surprise", but hoped that it will bring "hope and encouragement, unity and peace to all", and are expecting "hundreds of thousands" of pilgrims to join the celebrations in Leyte.
 
While unsure of Pope Francis' complete knowledge of the Philippines, Tagle said the Pope admired "the faith and resilience of the survivors" of past disasters and in Tacloban.
 
He said the Pope will bring a message of solidarity and hope, and hoped to be edified by the "faith of the simple people".

Paynor asked the public to refrain from forming a "people surge" in following the pontiff to allow Pope Francis to keep his schedule.
 
Ochoa said 95 percent of the government's preparation was concerned with the Pope's security.
 
He added that people's security was also a concern, reflecting on the injuries incurred by Black Nazarene devotees during its annual procession.

Meanwhile, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said an international media center will be established at the Manila Hotel tent in Rizal Park, while the Vatican media center will be located at the Diamond Hotel and on the field in Leyte.
Holidays may also be declared during the Pope's five-day visit to address traffic concerns.

Personal and societal responsibilities
 
Archbishop Pinto believes that the physical presence of the Pope will invite the people of Manila and Tacloban "to renew their personal relationships with the Christ".
 
Moreover, Cardinal Tagle believes that the visit is a call to "personal and societal responsibility", and a "challenge to reach out with love to the neglected and abandoned; to help the heal wounds inflicted on women, children, and families; to respect neighbors who differ from us; to form the youth in responsible freedom; to value life and creation; and to imbue our culture and society with mercy and culture."
 
"Let us open our hearts to the message he will bring and, even now, extend the love, mercy, compassion and kindness that he practices to one another, that he may find in our country a blessed, kind, and grateful people," 
 
In a written statement, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Socrates Villegas asked Filipino pilgrims to open their "hearts to the message he will bring and, even now, extend the love, mercy, compassion and kindness that he practices to one another, that he may find in our country a blessed, kind, and grateful people."

Details
 
Details of his itinerary are as follows:
 
January 15, 2015
 
Arrival from Sri Lanka – Villamor Air Base
Motorcade to the Apostolic Nunciature – Taft Avenue, Manila
 
January 16, 2015
Welcome Ceremony – Malacañan Palace, Manila
Courtesy Visit to the President
Meeting with Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps
Motorcade to the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
Mass with Bishops, Priests, and Women and Men Religious – Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
Motorcade to the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
Meeting with the Families –  Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
 
January 17, 2015
Departure for the Archdiocese of Palo – Villamor Air Base
Arrival at Tacloban Airport
Holy Mass near Tacloban Airport
Lunch with the Poor and Survivors of Calamities at Gonzagahaus (Residence of the Archbishop of Palo) – Palo, Leyte
Blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor – Palo, Leyte
Meeting with the Priests and Women and Men Religious at Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration (Palo Cathedral) – Palo, Leyte
Departure for Manila
Arrival at Manila – Villamor Air Base
 
January 18, 2015
Brief Meeting with Religious Leaders – Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, España, Manila
Meeting with the Youth – Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, España, Manila
Motorcade to Rizal Park, Manila
Concluding Mass, Rizal Park, Manila
 
January 19, 2015
Motorcade from the Apostolic Nunciature
Departure for Rome – Villamor Air Base
 
—Rie Takumi and Joel Locsin/NB/KBK, GMA News