BACOLOD City, August 29, 2014 – With the confirmation of a papal visit to the Philippines next year, Bacolod’s bishop expressed joy and high hopes for the coming of “spiritual-typhoon Francis” to the country.
Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra said the coming of Pope Francis, after 20 years since the last papal visit, is an “unexpected gift” to our nation.
He said he considers Pope Francis’ visit to our country a gift, not only for Catholics, but also for people of other faiths, even for those who do not believe or who even are hostile to the Church.
“Pope Francis is the personification of the message of the mercy of God and of the Church,” Navarra said as he described the “Francis effect” that reaches out to all people regardless of their conditions in life.
The Bacolod prelate advised everyone to “prepare spiritually” for the event. He also encouraged the faithful to pray for Pope Francis and his intentions, considering his age, his physical condition and the great demands of the Petrine ministry.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has confirmed reports that the Holy Father will visit the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)