Cardinal Tagle tells HIV patients: Keep faith

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Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle greets handicapped persons as he leaves the San Lazaro Chapel to visit HIV patients at a nearby hospital in Manila, April 30. (Photo: Maria Tan)

MANILA, April 30, 2016— Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila on Saturday visited a hospital ward which cares for people with HIV and asked them to have courage and “never lose their faith.”

It was an emotional moment for the cardinal, who spent half an hour with around 25 patients and their families at the San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Fr. Emerico Sixto San Juan, who was also inside the ward, said the cardinal urged the patients to keep praying and find their strength from faith.

“The cardinal told them to have courage and keep their faith in God,” said San Juan, who is also the rector of the San Carlos Minor Seminary.

Tagle, who just came from a three-day Caritas Solidarity Conference in Nepal, also spoke with the patients’ families and warned against the damage done to children when they see their parents fighting.

The cardinal said it is normal that couples fight but urged them not to end the day without making peace.

“Cardinal told the parents to immediately settle their differences because it adds to the physical sickness of their children with HIV,” San Juan added.

The visit to the hospital was held after the opening of the Holy Door of the St. Lazarus Chapel inside the Department of Health (DOH) compound.

In attendance were some DOH officials, San Lazaro hospital patients as well as hospital chaplains under the Archdiocese of Manila.

After the Mass, the cardinal walked from the chapel to the nearby building where the persons living with HIV are cared for.

Peachy Yamsuan, head of Manila archdiocese’s Office of Communications, said the cardinal also prayed and gave communion to the patients and went to each of those who are already bed-ridden.

After the visit, the cardinal was seen wiping away tears as he went out of the hospital ward. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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