Pope Francis has sent a telegram expressing his gratitude to Filipinos and President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
The pontiff, who left Manila on Monday after a five-day state and pastoral visit to the Philippines, also sent out telegrams to other heads of states, as is “customary on a papal journey,” Vatican Radio reported on Monday afternoon.
“As I depart from the Philippines, I extend to you, the government and all the people of the nation my heartfelt gratitude for your warm welcome and every kindness shown to me during my visit,” Pope Francis said.
“I renew to Your Excellency and the entire country the assurance of my prayers for peace and prosperity,” he added.
Pope Francis also sent a telegram to China, only for the second time in history, Vatican Radio also reported.
He told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he is praying for the people of China, and invoked blessings of ‘harmony and prosperity.”
Pope Francis also sent messages to Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, as well as Czech President Milos Zeman, Slovak President Andrej Kiska, Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Slovenian President Borut Pahor.
He also sent a telegram to Italy addressed to Senator Pietro Grasso, who became acting President of Italy on January 14.
“As is customary on a papal journey, Pope Francis has sent telegrams to the Head of State of every country his plane flies over during his flight from Manila to Rome,” Vatican Radio said.