At least 35,000, mostly youngsters, flocked to the University of Santo Tomas Sunday for a youth encounter with Pope Francis.
Emotions were high all the time at the usually serene campus as the young crowd sang hymns with coordinated hand actions, cheered, danced and waved flags as they await the arrival of the Pope.
Santo Tomas was given the title Pontifical University by Pope Leo XIII in 1902. The Dominican-run school, under the direct supervision of the Vatican, has been a venue for youth gatherings with the Pope.
Two past popes had visited the Santo Tomas university – Blessed Paul VI in 1970 and twice by then pope, now St. John Paul II, in 1981 and 1995.
His meeting with the youth is among his last activities in the country to be capped by a mass later in the afternoon where at least six million are expected to turn up before he departs for Rome the following day. PNA