Stand by Philippines as in a few hours the Pope will be coming to Manila. As the Philippines is a very religious country the Popes visit will undoubtedly bring in thousands upon thousands of sightseers all wanting to see the Pope.
Jose William Arana is just one of millions of worshipers in this most Catholic of Asian nations enthusiastic to see Pope Francis when he arrives Thursday for a five-day trip to the Philippines.
The 75-year-old priest hopes the pope’s visit will inspire change. “It will (breathe) more life to our way of living, our faith as Catholics,” he said.
More than 80% of the Philippine’s 108 million people are Catholic. Arana said he hopes the Argentine pope — the first from a developing country — brings his message of humility for the rich and economic justice for the poor.
“The perception of the people is that the church has been aloof, that we are not serving the people of God,” he said. “I have great expectations that the Holy Father, in his personal meetings with priests and the religious, will tell them to be more with the people of God.”
The main highlight will be Sunday’s open-air Mass likely to attract millions in Manila. On Saturday, Francis visits Tacloban to meet survivors of devastating Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,000 people in November 2013
More Pope Visits
This is not the first visit by a Pope.
Pope Paul VI, known as the Pilgrim Pope for being one of the most traveled Popes, came to the country prior to the declaration of martial law. Religious leaders formed an inter-faith committee in 1967 with the aim of inviting the pontiff to the Philippines, and it took them around three years to succeed in persuading the Pope to finally take the long journey to Manila.