99 things Pope Francis said in the Philippines

Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2015 - 3:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis delivered six addresses and homilies during his five-day visit in the Philippines, touching on the topics of social justice, poverty and the family.

Below are some key points and quotations from the pontiff:


On the poor and marginalized | On lifestyles | On leadership | On Christian life | On the Church | On the family | On suffering | On the Philippines and Filipinos | On women


On the poor and marginalized

1. "The great biblical tradition enjoins on all peoples the duty to hear the voice of the poor. It bids us break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities."

2. "The Bishops of the Philippines have asked that this year be set aside as the Year of the Poor."

3. To the clergy and religious, Pope Francis said: I ask you to bring my affection to all your elderly and infirm brothers and sisters, and to all those who cannot join us today.

4. The pope also said, the hierarchy of the church and religious organizations "are called to build bridges, to pasture Christ's flock, and to prepare fresh paths for the Gospel in Asia at the dawn of a new age."

Pope Francis greets a victim of Supertyphoon Yolanda in Leyte on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. Malacañang Photo Bureau

5. "There is a worldly compassion which is useless. You expressed something like this. It’s a compassion that makes us put our hands in our pockets and give something to the poor. But if Christ had had that kind of compassion he would have greeted a couple of people, given them something, and walked on. But it was only when he was able to cry that he understood something of our lives."

6. "Certain realities of life we only see through eyes cleansed by our tears. I invite each one here to ask yourself: have I learned how to weep? Have I learned how to weep for the [marginalized] or for a street child who has a drug problem or for an abused child? Unfortunately there are those who cry because they want something else."

7. "If you don’t learn how to cry, you cannot be a good Christian. This is a challenge. When they posed this question to us, why children suffer, why this or that tragedy occurs in life – our response must be either silence or a word that is born of our tears. Be courageous, don’t be afraid to cry."

This is what helps you mature in your commitment to give to others: Learn how to open your hand from your very own poverty.

9. "There is the challenge for the poor, to love the poor, with your bishops. Do you think of the poor? Do you feel with the poor? Do you do something  for the poor? Do you ask the poor to give you the wisdom they have?"

10. "We need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected.  And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets."

On lifestyles

11. "[Reconciling grace into hearts means] rejecting worldly perspectives and seeing all things anew in the light of Christ."

12. "The great danger to [the will of God] is a certain materialism which can creep into our lives and compromise the witness we offer."

13. "Today, with so many means of communication we are overloaded with information. Is that bad? No. It is good and can help. But there is a real danger of living in a way that we accumulate information."

14. "We have so much information but maybe we don’t know what to do with that information. So we run the risk of becoming museums of young people who have everything but not knowing what to do with it. We don’t need young museums but we do need holy young people."

Pilgrims, among those who trooped to Rizal Park on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, take a selfie ahead of the Papal Mass that drew millions.

15. "You may ask me: Father, how do we become saints? This is another challenge. It is the challenge of love. What is the most important subject you have to lean at university? What is most important subject you have to learn in life? To learn how to love. This is the challenge that life offers you: to learn bow to love. Not just to accumulate information without knowing what to do with it.. But through that love let that information bear fruit."

16. "For this the Gospel offers us a serene way forward: using the three languages of the mind, heart and hands – and to use them in harmony. What you think, you must feel and put into effect. Your information comes down to your heart and you put it into practice."

17. "Only by becoming poor ourselves, by stripping away our complacency, will we be able to identify with the least of our brothers and sisters."

18. "All answers on computers - but no surprises. The challenge of love. God reveals himself through surprises."

19. The pope said that honest, integrity and the Gospel have to effect change "in a society which has grown comfortable with social exclusion, polarization and scandalous inequality."

Faith does not remove us from the world, but draws us more deeply into it. Each of us, in fact, has a special role in preparing for the coming of God's kingdom in our world.

21. "[Sexuality, marriage and the family] realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God's plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture."

22. "You must make time each day for prayer. But you may say to me: Holy Father, I want to pray, but there is so much work to do! I must care for my children; I have chores in the home; I am too tired even to sleep well. This may be true, but if we do not pray, we will not know the most important thing of all: God's will for us. And for all our activity, our busy-ness, without prayer we will accomplish very little."

23. "While all too many people live in dire poverty, others are caught up in materialism and lifestyles which are destructive of family life and the most basic demands of Christian morality."

24. "The devil is the father of lies.  Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being "modern, 'like everyone else'."

25. "[The devil] distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes.  And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves."

26. "We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter."

On leadership

27. "It is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good. In this way they will help preserve the rich human and natural resources with which God has blessed this country. "

28. Pope Francis wished that political leaders be able to "marshall the moral resources needed to face the demands of the present, and to pass on to coming generations a society of authentic justice, solidarity and peace."

Pope Francis greets members of Cabinet as President Benigno Aquino III (rightmost) upon arrival at the Malacanang Palace on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Malacañang Photo Bureau

29. "Essential to the attainment of ... national goals is the moral imperative of ensuring social justice and respect for human dignity."

Reforming the social structures which perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor first requires a conversion of mind and heart.

31. "We know how difficult it is for our democracies today to preserve and defend such basic human values as respect for the inviolable dignity of each human person, respect for the rights of conscience and religious freedom, and respect for the inalienable right to life, beginning with that of the unborn and extending to that of the elderly and infirm."

32. "Families and local communities must be encouraged and assisted in their efforts to transmit to our young the values and the vision which can help bring about a culture of integrity – one which honors goodness, truthfulness, fidelity and solidarity as the firm foundation and the moral glue which holds society together."

33. "May the deepest spiritual values of the Filipino people continue to find expression in your efforts to provide your fellow citizens with an integral human development. In this way, each person will be able to fulfill his or her potential, and thus contribute wisely and well to the future of this country."

34. "The economic situation has caused families to be separated by migration and the search for employment, and financial problems strain many households."


On Christian life

35. "Like Saint Therese, in the variety of our vocations, each of us is called, in some way, to be love in the heart of the Church."

36. "The Gospel calls individual Christians to live lives of honesty, integrity and concern for the common good."

37. "[The Gospel] calls Christian communities to create 'circles of integrity', networks of solidarity which can expand to embrace and transform society by their prophetic witness."

38. "It means being the first to examine our consciences, to acknowledge our failings and sins, and to embrace the path of constant conversion."

39. "For us priests and consecrated persons, conversion to the newness of the Gospel entails a daily encounter with the Lord in prayer."

40. "Proclaim the beauty and truth of the Christian message to a society which is tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family."

A pilgrim holds the image of the Christ Child, whom Filipino call Santo Niño, at the papal Mass in Rizal Park on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Philstar.com/RP Ocampo

41. "We can love Him but we must let ourselves be loved by Him. Real love is being open to the love that comes to you. The love that surprises us."

42. "God is a God of surprise because He loved us first."

43. "Rest is so necessary for the health of our minds and bodies, and often so difficult to achieve due to the many demands placed on us. But rest is also essential for our spiritual health, so that we can hear God's voice and understand what he asks of us."

44. "As Christians, you too are called, like Joseph, to make a home for Jesus. You make a home for him in your hearts, your families, your parishes and your communities."

45. "When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write on a piece of paper and I put it under [Saint Joseph's] statue so he can dream about it. This means please pray to St Joseph for this problem."

Like Saint Joseph, once we have heard God's voice, we must rise from our slumber; we must get up and act.

47. "I have listened to you sing the song: 'We are all God’s children'."

48. "Today Saint Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ.  This is who we are.  This is our identity. "


On the Church

49. "We are called to be 'ambassadors for Christ' (2 Cor 5:20). Ours is a ministry of reconciliation ... To be an ambassador for Christ means above all to invite everyone to a renewed personal encounter with the Lord Jesus."

50. "The Church in the Philippines is called to acknowledge and combat the causes of the deeply rooted inequality and injustice which mar the face of Filipino society, plainly contradicting the teaching of Christ."

51. "Be present to young people who may be confused and despondent, yet continue to see the Church as their friend on the journey and a source of hope."

Pope Francis officiates Holy Mass in Rizal Park before millions of pilgrims in Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

52. To young priests, religious and seminarians, he said, "Be present to those who, living in the midst of a society burdened by poverty and corruption, are broken in spirit, tempted to give up, to leave school and to live on the streets."

53. "I like St Joseph very much ... . On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church."

How many people in the Church work so that that house is a home, a family?

55. "We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage."


On the family

56. "It is in the family that we first learn how to pray. And don't forget when the family prays together, it remains together. This is important."

57. "In the family we learn how to love, to forgive, to be generous and open, not closed and selfish. We learn to move beyond our own needs, to encounter others and share our lives with them. That is why it is so important to pray as a family!"

58. "Like all God's gifts, the family can also be disfigured and destroyed. It needs our support."

59. "It is important to dream in the family. All mothers and fathers dream of their sons and daughters in the womb for 9 months. They dream of how they will be. It isn't possible to have a family without such dreams."

Pope Francis reacts while meeting a hearing-impaired father and his family at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila, Philippines, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. AP/Alessandra Tarantino

60. "[Sexuality, marriage and the family] realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God's plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture."

God calls upon us to recognize the dangers threatening our own families and to protect them from harm. We must be attentive to the new ideological colonization.

62. "Just as our peoples were able to say in the past 'No' to the period of colonization, as families we have to be very wise and strong to say 'No' to any attempted ideological colonization that could destroy the family."

63. "The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life."

64. "Our world needs good and strong families to overcome these threats!"

65. "When you lose this capacity to dream you lose the capacity to love, the capacity to love is lost."

How many solutions are found to family problems if we take time to reflect, if we think of a husband or wife, and we dream about the good qualities they have.

67. To married couples, the pope advised, "Don't ever lose the memory of when you were boyfriend or girlfriend. That is very important."

68. "Just as the gift of the Holy Family was entrusted to Saint Joseph, so the gift of the family and its place in God's plan is entrusted to us so we can carry it forward."

69. "The Philippines needs holy and loving families to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God's plan and to be a support and example for other families. Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself. The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family."

70. "Protect your families! See in them your country's greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments. Families will always have their trials, but may you never add to them!"

Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death.

72. "When families bring children into the world, train them in faith and sound values, and teach them to contribute to society, they become a blessing in our world."

73. Pope Francis asked families to be "missionary disciples of Jesus," which entails being “ready to go beyond your homes and to care for our brothers and sisters who are most in need."

I ask you especially to show concern for those who do not have a family of their own, in particular those who are elderly and children without parents.

75. "You may be poor yourselves in material ways, but you have an abundance of gifts to offer when you offer Christ and the community of his Church. Do not hide your faith, do not hide Jesus, but carry him into the world and offer the witness of your family life!"

76. "[The Santo Niño] reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family."

77. "Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture."


On suffering

78. "If today we find ourselves here 14 months afterwards, 14 months precisely after the Typhoon Yolanda hit, it is because we have the security of knowing we will not weaken in our faith because Jesus has been here before us.""In Jesus' Passion he assumed all our pain. Therefore he is capable of understanding us."

When I saw from Rome that catastrophe I had to be here. And on those very days I decided to come here. I am here to be with you – a little bit late, but I'm here.

80. "I have come to tell you that Jesus is Lord. And he never lets us down.Father, you might say to me, I was let down because I have lost so many things, my house, my livelihood. It's true if you say that and I respect those sentiments. But Jesus is there, nailed to the cross, and from there he does not let us down."

Pilgrims at the Rizal Park in Manila rest after hours of waiting for the arrival of Pope Francis under the pouring rain. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

81. "[Jesus] was consecrated as Lord on that throne and there he experienced all the calamities that we experience. Jesus is Lord. And the Lord from the cross is there for you. In everything the same as us. That is why we have a Lord who cries with us and walks with us in the most difficult moments of life."

82. "Let us know that we have a Mother, Mary, and a great Brother, Jesus. We are not alone. We also have many brothers who in this moment of catastrophe came to help. And we too, because of this, we feel more like brothers and sisters because we helped each other."

83. "We are like a little child in the moments when we have so much pain and no longer understand anything. All we can do is grab hold of her hand firmly and say, 'Mommy'," the pontiff said, referring to the Virgin Mary.


On the Philippines and Filipinos

84. Pope Francis visit coincides with the 500th anniversary of the first time the Gospel was proclaimed in the Philippines.

85. "It is my hope that this important anniversary will point to its continuing fruitfulness and its potential to inspire a society worthy of the goodness, dignity and aspirations of the Filipino people."

86. "I have admired the heroic strength, faith and resilience demonstrated by so many Filipinos in the face of this natural disaster, and so many others.

Pope Francis arrives in the Popemobile at Rizal Park in Manila on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Philstar.com/RP Ocampo

87. "Those [Filipino] virtues, rooted not least in the hope and solidarity instilled by Christian faith, gave rise to an outpouring of goodness and generosity, especially on the part of so many of the young."

88. "The Philippines, together with many other countries in Asia, faces the challenge of building on solid foundations a modern society – a society respectful of authentic human values, protective of our God-given human dignity and rights, and ready to confront new and complex political and ethical questions."

I cannot fail to mention the Philippines' important role in fostering understanding and cooperation among the countries of Asia.

90. "I would also mention the oft-neglected yet real contribution of Filipinos of the diaspora to the life and welfare of the societies in which they live. "

91. "I express my trust that the progress made in bringing peace to the south of the country will result in just solutions in accord with the nation's founding principles and respectful of the inalienable rights of all, including the indigenous peoples and religious minorities."

Filipinos everywhere are known for their love of God, their fervent piety and their warm devotion to Our Lady and her rosary.

93. He said Filipinos have passed on a "great heritage," which "contains a powerful missionary potential. It is the way in which your people has inculturated the Gospel and continues to embrace its message."

94. "Now, at the end of my visit to the Philippines, I commend you to him, to Jesus who came among us as a child.  May he enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace."

95. "May the Santo Niño continue to bless the Philippines and may he sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world."


On women

96. During his encounter with the youth in the University of Santo Tomas, Pope Francis commented, "There's only a very small representation of girls among you. Too little."

Women have much to tell us in today's society. Sometimes we are too 'machistas' and we don't allow enough space to women. But women can see things from a different angle to us, with a different eye.

98. "Women are able to pose questions we men are unable to understand. Look out for this fact: she is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer. She couldn't put it into words but expressed it with tears."

A group poses for a photographer in Rizal Park ahead of the Mass to be celebrated by Pope Francis in Manila on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

99. "When the next pope comes to Manila, please let there be more girls," he said, commenting on the audience in UST

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