MANILA, June 24, 2013—The supreme Pontiff lauded the devotion of Filipinos to the Catholic Church for its adamant resolve against influences of secularism and strengthening faith to the Madonna, a Catholic prelate said on Saturday.
Coming back home from taking possession of his titular church, St. Felice da Cantalice, on the outskirts of Rome last June 15, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that Pope Francis sees a good future for the Philippine Catholic Church.
“One of the first words of Pope Francis immediately after his election as Pope, when we approached him individually he told me, ‘I have very high hopes for the church in the Philippines’,” Tagle said, quoting the words of the Pontiff during his keynote speech at the 8th General Assembly of the Family Rosary Crusade.
He added that the Pope encouraged Filipinos to further intensify their faith and deepen their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Quoting Pope Francis, Tagle said, “You should move forward, go forward in faith, especially through your devotion to the Madonna.”
“For the Holy Father, advancing in faith is connected to our true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary that leads to the zeal in our mission,” he added.
‘Pray for me’
Tagle relayed the conversation he had with the Supreme Pontiff last week, where he noted the expressed confidence of the Filipino people to the election of the latter as the 266th Pope.
He also shared the special request of the Pontiff to Catholics all over the world, which is to pray for his welfare as the leader of all Catholics in the world.
“He expressed his gratitude and said, ‘please pray for me.’ You can truly sense his sincerity and humility in asking, ‘pray for me,” he said, noting the humility possessed by the Pope.
He urged people to heed the call of the Pontiff and include him in their daily prayers so he may get his needed guidance in governing the Catholic community. (Jennifer Orillaza)