The much-awaited arrival of Pop Francis for his visit to the Philippines is finally here. The pope is set to arrive to the Philippines on January 14, directly from his visit to Sri Lanka in the past week. His Philippine trip will last for five days and is expected to draw a large gathering of people.
The Filipinos are awaiting for Pope Francis’ coming from his successful Sri Lankan trip, where he canonized the country’s first ever saint and where he gave a homily on religious tolerance. The pope’s trip to these two Asian countries is said to help the fast growth of Catholicism in Asia.
The organizers and the government are already expecting a huge crowd of supporters that want to get a glimpse of the pope and attend the Holy Mass, to be presided by the pope himself. It is expected that the crowd will surpass the previous record of Pope John Paul II’s liturgical celebration held in the same venue in 1995.
The pope is not only expected to stay in the capital of the Philippines. The papal itinerary also includes his visit to Tacloban in order to be in touch with the families and communities affected by Haiyan, the super typhoon that rocked the country in 2013.The pope hopes that his visit to the affected communities will show them that the Lord shows mercy and compassion to His people.
Authorities have released a number of regulations and reminders over the concern of security regarding Pope Francis’ visit to the country, especially since attempts have been made in the past to assassinate visiting popes.