Pope Francis at Luneta

With Pope Francis at the Luneta (Rizal Park), Manila, 18 January 2015

Pope Francis’ final full day in the Philippines: encounter with youth in U.S.T.; final Mass at Luneta (Rizal Park) in Manila

Pope Luneta Aerial Shot

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It was a crowd unlike any other.  Roughly 6 million people (“6-7 million”, according to Fr. Federico Lombardi) were in Manila’s Rizal Park for the Pope’s closing Mass in the Philippines. Neither the rain or the cold, deterred them from waiting for hours for a chance to see Pope Francis.

Since the Sunday Mass coincided with the Feast Day of the Santo Niño, the Pope reminded Catholics that as children of God, they have the responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel.

“Today Saint Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. This is who we are, this is our identity,” said Pope Francis in his homily.

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The report by Seàn-Patrick Lovett of news.va goes: “So? How many people were there at Pope Francis’ final Mass in Manila’s Luneta Park? According to the Metro Manila Development Authority, or local traffic department, there were 2.5 million along the route from the Nunciature alone, even before you reach the park which can hold another 1.5 million, give or take a few hundred thousand. You do the math.

But, quite frankly – who cares? It never was a question of quantity so much as quality. And quality there was, in abundance.

Listen to Sean’s audio report HERE.

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Earlier during the day, he was at the Royal Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST) for an encounter with youth.

Pope Francis, after a young civil law student asked whether, in an era of social media, we no longer know the meaning of love, clarified how the “information overload” that comes with our communications-saturated society is not in itself a bad thing – unless we have so much information we don’t know what to do with it. The most important thing we have to learn in life, he said, is “how to love and how to be loved”. There are three languages, he added: “the languages of the mind, heart and hands”. It is important to feel what you think and what you do, and to do what you think and what you feel. And always in harmony, one with the other.

You get an idea of what transpired today in Manila with Pope Francis from the videos below…

 

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Isko meets Francisko assembly pic

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I went with the U.P. Campus Ministry Office group which assembled together a group for an overnight vigil event starting Saturday night dubbed “ISKO MEETS FRANCISKO” [see FB event banner below]. We assembled at Jollibee Philcoa (photo above): we were close to 60 people (4 UP Ikot jeepneys + 1 car).

We arrived at Luneta (Orosa St. entrance) at about 10PM (Sat.) seeing tons of people “camped” there already from the afternoon. We laid our black rubbish bags so we could sit (or sleep, for those who can). By about 3:30AM, “Kuya Mik” woke us up to get ready to file up for a planned 6AM opening of gates into Luneta. We were so happy they opened at 5AM! 🙂 Because of the crowds (we were “packed like sardines”), it took us upto about 7AM to get into Rizal Park itself (see shot below; I estimate that at least a quarter of the 6-7 million attendees came from that “VIGIL CROWD”). We settled down at the “left wing quadrant”, about the distance of Rizal monument. Later we realized this was a good choice, since the Pope passed in front of our area (from Kalaw, going north, then turning west to our Quirino St. side, then made a U-turn to head to the Grandstand). Everybody was just EUPHORIC over the Pope’s arrival: some people perched on trees to get a glimpse of him, most of us following the big screens, nobody minding the muddy ground (it began to rain at noon, because of Typhoon Signal 1) & nobody minding getting soaked till the end of the event (see shot below)…

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Here’s the FULL TEXT of the Pope’s homily:

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-mass-in-rizal-park-manila

Here’s an AUDIO of the same homily:

http://radiotapat.com/2015/01/18/january-18-2015-his-holiness-pope-francis-homily-in-holy-mass-at-the-quirino-grandstand/

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Isko meets Francisko

UP Campus Ministry Office Papal Visit event page

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Pope Luneta 18Jan2015

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