Church bells all over the country will peal simultaneously when Pope Francis arrives for his four-day Apostolic and State Visit on January 15.
In a statement addressed to all bishops and priests, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Sunday said the ringing of the bells at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday will be “a symbolic gesture of welcome to the Holy Father.”
It is also a call on Filipinos to pray for the Holy Father during his stay in the country.
“We urge the people who are unable to see him personally to at least pray for the Pope for the duration of his Philippine visit,” Villegas said in an article posted on the papalvisitph website.
Pope Francis will be in the country from January 15 to 19.
Also on Sunday, Malacañang sought the cooperation of the public and the private sector for the orderly and peaceful visit of the Holy Father.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Benigno Aquino 3rd is confident that “we can have orderly and momentous visit of our beloved Pope if we will all unite and help each other.”
”We particularly appeal to those who will attend the Mass in Luneta [Rizal Park in Manila] and Tacloban City [in Leyte province], wherein thousands of devotees will attend. In any big gathering, there is a chance that even a small commotion can create stampede,” Coloma added.