We know your apostolic visit’s agenda doesn’t highlight the youth, unlike that of your counterpart in 1995; nevertheless, we’re all here to participate.
Most of us were not even born yet or are too young to remember the visit of Pope John Paul II, so this will be our first time to experience a papal visit. It is a blessing we will all cherish as Catholics.
This big event is also serving as a good opportunity to gather all Catholics in the archipelago to celebrate our faith. From the preparation to the anticipation, it is bringing people together to get a glimpse of you. As a result, unity is strengthening our community.
Thus, we would like to thank you for making the time and effort to visit our country! It is truly a monumental event in the Philippine Catholic history. We welcome you with our hospitality and generosity. Your timing couldn’t be better, as it is best to start the year by inspiring Filipino Catholics with your presence and the message you are bringing.
So, what is mercy and compassion? We hope to learn more from your words, and with what we will experience during your stay. This whole trip has been anticipated by many, most especially by our dear brothers and sisters who were hit by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
We know your presence aims to comfort suffering Filipinos in Tacloban, but you’ll be surprised that, despite countless tragedies, the survivors will greet you with warm smiles. But they need you to guide and inspire them.
May you succeed in uplifting their hopes and dreams to move forward and rise again. Be the shepherd they’ve been waiting for, who will lead them back to their path.
We hope that you will also serve as a role model to our leaders, both in the Church and the state, for them to help reduce poverty and hunger. We know that it is your mission to enlighten everyone. You’re here to teach us how to properly address our problems, and we are here to listen.
The youth is looking forward to what change your visit could do to them.
Once again, thank you, Pope Francis, for the visit! You have opened not just our hearts, but our minds as well. We will carry this experience throughout our lives, and we will now have our own papal encounter stories. Do not forget to include us in your prayers, especially those in need, and the continuous progress of the country. We love you, and we hope to see you again!