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Pope: I’ll never forget Tacloban

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PALO, Leyte, Feb. 3, 2015 — In a letter dated Jan. 21, 2015, as soon as he arrived in Rome, Pope Francis writes to Palo Archbishop John Du to thank him, telling him the encounter with the Palo faithful is unforgettable.

“I thank you too, wholeheartedly, for the witness of faith and endurance which your people showed me in the midst of their trials. I will never forget this — may the Lord never permit me to — and I will keep them in my prayers,” says the Holy Father in a message he simply signed “Francis”.

Pope Francis celebrated a Mass at the Tacloban Airport despite heavy rains and strong winds brought by typhoon Amang, Jan. 17, 2015. (Photo: Aira Purificacion)

‘Most moving moment’

Pope Francis also expressed sadness that the strong winds and rain brought on by typhoon Amang the day of his visit forced him to compress his trip.

During a press conference with the Vatican Accredited Media Personnel (VAMP) aboard his flight back to Rome from Manila, Pope Francis already revealed that the most moving moment during his pastoral and state visit to the Philippines was the Mass in Tacloban City.

“The most moving moment…For me the mass in Tacloban was very moving. Very moving. To see all of God’s people standing still, praying, after this catastrophe, thinking of my sins and those people, it was moving, a very moving moment,” the Holy Father said.

Apology

According to the pontiff, the experience was so powerful for him that he felt as “though [he] was annihilated (‘wiped out’)”, almost to the point of being rendered speechless.

“I felt very little I don’t know what happened to me, maybe it was the emotion, I don’t know,” he said.

In the letter to Du, Pope Francis also apologized for any “impatience on [his] part” during his visit to Palo.

The Holy Father made an apostolic visit to the country from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015. (CBCPNews)


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