The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has created a Facebook and twitter account [@papalvisitph] featuring updates and trivia on Pope Francis ahead of his Philippine visit in January 2015.
Using the two media forums, Filipino netizens will now be able to get to know the pope and have a chance to post photos with their messages for the pontiff.
“If you can have your picture taken, holding your message board or paper with your message and/or artwork printed on it for the Holy Father, then share it and we will post it here!” a Facebook page post said.
Marissa Marcelino, a Facebook user, posted on the Facebook page of the papal visit her excitement about Francis’ trip to the Philippines next year.
She also posted a photo with a loved one, where the Pope appears to smile with them.
“Excited … awaiting … and praying for the coming of our Holy Father to bring to us God’s tenderness, compassion and mercy! We love you Pope Francis! Grazie tante,” Marcelino said.
Another Facebook user, Myk Cruz, said Filipinos should unite for the visit of the pope.
Created in August, the twitter and Facebook page have 184 followers and more than 11, 000 likes, respectively.
The two papal social sites show a picture of a smiling Pope Francis with the visit’s theme “Mercy and Compassion.”
The CBCP said the social sites aim to “cover the highlights of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit to the Philippines 2015.”
Pope Francis, who is known for his humility and simplicity, is set to set foot in the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015 to personally visit victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City, Leyte.
Reports said Pope Francis will say a Mass at the new airport of Tacloban City, where he will stay for six hours and will dine with more than 30 Yolanda survivors and five earthquake victims.
Also in August, the CBCP launched the official website for the visit http://papalvisit.ph, featuring what the people should know about the pontiff, including his writings.
The official website of the papal visit counts down the number of weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds before the arrival of Francis.
He will be the third pope to visit the Philippines after Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.