Roman Catholicism is large in the Philippines. Because of this, a visit from the Pope as the 2015 starts has become an event that much anticipated by the public.
It is not new for us to be visited by a Pope as we were with the Pope John Paul II back in 1995 when he paid a visit. Nevertheless, the thought of having a prominent figure visit our country, a religious one for that matter, is quite an exciting thing for us.
Arriving from Colombo after canonizing Sri Lanka’s first saint, the Rev. Giuseppe Baz, a 17th-century missionary who revived Catholicism in the country, Pope Francis will be in Manila on January 15.
Two days after his arrival in Manila, Pope Francis will then fly to Tacloban, the region where the Typhoon Haiyan hit hard last November 8, 2013, to host a luncheon and celebrate mass with the Typhoon Haiyan survivors.
The Vatican has released the official itinerary of the Pope as he visit the Filipinos. Below is the schedule of the Pope in the country.
January 15, 2015
- Arrival from Sri Lanka
- Villamor Air Base Motorcade to the Apostolic Nunciature
- Taft Avenue, Manila
January 16, 2015
- Welcome Ceremony – Malacañan Palace
- Manila motorcade to the Cathedral – Manila Cathedral
- Mass with bishops, Priests, and religious – Manila Cathedral
- Motorcade to the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay encounter with families – Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
January 17, 2015
- Departure for Archdiocese of Palo – Villamor Air Base Arrival at Tacloban Airport
- Holy Mass
- Tacloban Airport lunch with the poor and survivors of calamities at Gonzagahaus (Residence of the Archbishop of Palo) – Palo, Leyte
- Blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor – Palo, Leyte
- Meeting with the priests and religious at Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration (Palo Cathedral) – Palo, Leyte
- Departure for Manila
- Arrival at Manila – Villamor Air Base
January 18, 2015
- Brief Meeting with the religious leaders and encounter with the youth – Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, España, Manila
- Motorcade to Rizal Park, Manila
- Concluding Mass, Rizal Park, Manila
January 19, 2015
- Motorcade from the Apostolic Nunciature
- Departure for Rome – Villamor Air Base
Because many Filipinos are devout in Catholic faith, the crowd is expected to be “in the millions”, said the Presidential Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
On the 18th of January will be the Pope’s final public event, as he will hold a mass in Manila’s Rizal Park.