Before he boarded his plane back to Rome, Pope Francis told President Benigno Aquino 3rd that he was “very, very happy” with the outcome of his trip to the Philippines.
The President said the Pope felt the overwhelming love of Filipinos throughout his four-day visit.
“Inulit niya [Francis] kung ano ‘yung nadama niya, ang tindi nitong pagmamahal na nadama niya dito sa buo niyang biyahe [He repeated what he felt, the intensity of the love he felt throughout his visit],” Aquino told reporters.
Malacañang said the visit of the pontiff has been “truly meaningful and successful.”
Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda attributed the success of the Pope’s pastoral visit to the “warmth, discipline and faith” shown by Filipinos.
“Without doubt, on this occasion, the people once more showed what could be achieved when we work toward a unified endeavor,” he said.
Lacierda added that Francis brought unity and affection to Filipinos.
“Throughout the Pope’s stay in our country, the affection of His Holiness for the people was truly evident, whether in his gatherings in Manila or Tacloban (City), in his official functions and unexpected interactions and in every opportunity he used to bring the consolation of faith to the marginalized in our society,” he said.
“His Holiness’ presence likewise brought together peoples of various faiths and backgrounds,” Lacierda added.
The Palace official thanked Filipinos “for their solidarity in ensuring the safety of the Pope.”
He acknowledged in particular “the thousands who patiently lined the route of the papal motorcade, to the organizations that encouraged mindfulness and helped maintain order during the public engagements of the Pope and to the millions who participated in the papal activities.”
Lacierda then thanked the media “for playing a vital role in the dissemination of relevant information and for promoting government-issued advisories.”
He also thanked telecommunications companies for their cooperation in “ensuring security for all and advising the public accordingly.”
Finally, Lacierda thanked members of lead government agencies for carrying out their tasks during the papal visit, “from the thousands of police on the ground, the Presidential Security Group and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and to the many law-enforcement and government personnel that provided necessary support throughout the Pope’s visit.”
“The gratitude of the Filipino people extends to those not directly involved with the Pope’s security, those who manned different posts, as their colleagues were reassigned to safeguard the welfare of Pope Francis and of the many who came out to see him,” he said.