The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday urged Filipinos to remember that Pope Francis “gave us his best” during his recent visit to the Philippines.
To pay the Pope back, Socrates Villegas, also Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop, said, “Let us just count our blessings, let us celebrate the beautiful things that had happened and let us keep the fire aglow.”
Francis stayed in the Philippines from January 15 to 19 to personally console victims of super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City, Leyte, in Central Visayas.
During his five-day state and apostolic visit, he notched several firsts, including saying the first Mass amid a typhoon and at the same time wearing a raincoat.
The pontiff also deviated from an itinerary prepared by the Papal Visit Committee, with him going to Tulay ng Kabataan (TNK) foundation at Manila Cathedral, where he said Mass on January 16.
The foundation is home to former street children that it cares for and sends to school.
Meanwhile, Villegas noted that Filipinos have not failed Pope Francis in showing their support and warm welcome to him.
“The whole world watched us for five days while the Pope was here and we delivered the best and, as you saw, we also brought the best in Pope Francis,” he said.
“Tacloban brought out the best in Pope Francis, that little girl from TNK at UST [University of Sto. Tomas] brought out so much wisdom from [him], so we gave our best during the papal visit,” Villegas added.
The archbishop was referring to Glyzelle Palomar, 12, who shared her experience as a street kid during the Pope’s encounter with the youth at UST.
“It feels good to be a Filipino during these days,” Villegas said.