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Pope in Manila on Jan. 15

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Pope Francis is expected to visit the country on Jan. 15 next year.

CBCPNews, citing a report of the Catholic News Service that quoted Monsignor Nevin Perera, said the 77-year-old pope would visit Manila after a two-day trip to Sri Lanka.

The Vatican has yet to make a formal announcement of the specific date and itinerary of the pope during his Philippine visit.

Pope Francis would be the third pontiff to visit the country. Pope Paul VI visited in 1970 while Pope John Paul II came here twice – in February of 1981 for the beatification of now St. Lorenzo Ruiz and in January of 1995 for World Youth Day.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said one of the purposes of the papal visit is to “come close to the people” who were victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda and the magnitude 7.2 quake in Bohol and Cebu last year.

The Vatican considers Asia as a continent of growth for Catholicism. In 2012, Vatican’s data showed that Catholicism in Asia is growing faster than in any other region of the world.

The pope is also traveling to Korea on Aug. 14 to18 for the 6th Asian Youth Day in the diocese of Daejeon. It would be his first visit to Asia.

Palo, Leyte Archbishop John Du earlier said Yolanda survivors in the province eagerly await the pope’s visit.

“The pope’s visit is another big blessing. We are happy for the blessings that come to us – the pope is coming, the people’s solidarity and the overwhelming generosity of the people,” he said.

He said the papal visit would boost the morale of typhoon victims, especially those who are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

ASIAN YOUTH DAY BOHOL AND CEBU CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE LEYTE ARCHBISHOP JOHN DU MANILA ARCHBISHOP LUIS ANTONIO CARDINAL TAGLE MONSIGNOR NEVIN PERERA POPE POPE FRANCIS POPE JOHN PAUL VISIT
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