MANILA, Jan. 15, 2016 – Stung by “papal nostalgia,” some Catholic Filipinos took to social media to share their unforgettable memories and experiences about the apostolic trip of Pope Francis, who was in the country from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015 for what went on o become the “biggest Christian gathering in history.”t
“I will always remember these images that I watched on the television as I was struggling with my first chemotherapy cycle in the hospital during the Holy Father’s visit last year,” recounted Jilson Tio of the Diocese of Malolos.
Grateful just the same
Despite not having seen Pope Francis in person due to his illness, he was beyond grateful that he still felt his presence through television.
“Many friends and relatives who braved the crowd and were soaked in rainwater for hours kept on telling me, ‘We prayed for you during the Pope’s visit.’ I will not get tired of thanking everyone for offering prayers for my healing, especially when Pope Francis visited our country,” he added.
For Ana Perucho, a school nurse from Muntinlupa City who offered her skills in photography for the papal visit coverage, recalled having “mixed emotions” when she beheld the Vicar of Christ himself for the first time.
“My first glimpse of Pope Francis! Mixed emotions! I thought he would be facing us. But it’s OK,” she exclaimed.
“Thank You so much Lord for this!” added Perucho, posting over her Facebook wall the photographs she took of her personal “Pope Francis encounter.”
Former senatorial candidate Lito David took pride that he was able to snap three separate pictures every time the Holy Father chanced to pass by in front of where he was standing inside the Tacloban City airport.
“I was drenched in tears as I was drenched by the continuing rains,” said David of his own “papal moment.”
Meanwhile, electrical engineer Queen Amor Monserrat remembered having been “frozen” on the ground upon glimpsing Pope Francis along Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran on his way to the Nunciature in Manila from Villamor Airport in Pasay City.
“It happened really, really fast. But I felt like it was God Himself who was there … and that the Holy Spirit came down from heaven … That split-second encounter is so vivid and stays with me until now. It’s hard to explain,” she said. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)