In a press conference Tuesday, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle announced that the pope will make a four-day visit to the country from January 15 to 19, 2015.
While the schedules of the papal visit will be released later this year, Tagle hinted the pope’s desire to visit areas ravaged by typhoon Yolanda last year.
“I was a witness by how Pope Francis was affected by the typhoon Yolanda,” Tagle said. “Let us show Pope Francis who we really are as Filipinos.”
Papal nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto said he wants the papal visit to be an occasion for prayer and spiritual renewal.
“My wish that this visit will be a spiritual typhoon,” Pinto said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier said that the central theme of the papal visit is “mercy and compassion.”
Tagle said that it has been a recurring theme from the symbolic actions of Pope Francis, as he urged Catholics to prepare best for the visit by “returning to the Word of God”.
“Another way is to do works of mercy–the corporal and spiritual works of mercy,” he added.
The papal visit will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the 1995 World Youth Day celebration in Manila which was attended by the late Pope John Paul II, who was declared a saint recently.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., said the government is prepared to provide the necessary security concerns for the historic event.
“We are working closely with the papal visit committee,” said Coloma. (CBCPNews)