The Papal Experience.
Pope Francis came to the Philippines for a 5-day State visit and Apostolic Journey on January 15-21, 2015. Since Day 1, all news was about him. From the moment Shepherd One (the airplane that boarded him) landed on the Philippine grounds in Villamor Airbase, up to the time it took off for his departure.
A Smiling Pope.
If there’s one thing that I will never forget about Pope Francis, it is his genuine smile.
He has that smile that shines. A smile that can ease any pain. A smile that was like sunshine on a very gloomy rainy day. When he smiles, it feels like everything suddenly is okay.
My friend Cleigh and I went and planned to attend his Mass at Luneta on January 18 but we’re not able to get inside Luneta Park as there are millions of people already even only at 7 in the morning. We did not have the chance to really be in Luneta but we were still lucky because it gave us a chance to see the Pope in person up close. We stayed in Quirino Avenue for almost 11 hours, waiting standing and super wet from the rain. Our knees hurt as time passed and our bodies felt more tired as the day progressed but we were so determined never to give up until we see the Pope.
And then our most awaited moment came. He passed by quickly on his way to Luneta at 3pm. Because of too much excitement to get a picture of him, my chance quickly got away. I only saw his back. I wasn’t able to capture a picture! So we waited again for the Mass to end. We asked for the Police officers’ confirmation on whether the Pope Mobile will still pass in Quirino Ave. We patiently waited and we’re so lucky because this time, the Pope Mobile passed really slowly. This time, I was able to see his face.. his smiling face. 🙂
A lot and many more..
Aside from a genuine smile, there are a lot of things about Pope Francis that made me admire him more. The way he really cares so much for the poor, the sick and disabled, is just so true and priceless. His points of view don’t focus on being righteous, but he speaks of things based on his observations. I remember reading one of his quotes that say:
“It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way, the traditional. Notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. It is not necessary to go to church and give money — for many, nature can be a church. Some of the best people in history do not believe in God, while some of the worst deeds were done in His name.” –Pope Francis
I have always believed this and thought that maybe I was just being bitter because I am not a Church-person –I am not always present on Sunday Masses, etc. But when I read this quote by the Pope, I feel relieved that it is not only I who think this way, but the Pope thinks so, too..
Blessed by the Pope.
It actually doesn’t matter if I saw the Pope in person, because no matter where I see him– be it via live broadcast on TV, or a picture, or just an article about his deeds, learning everything about him, alone, makes me feel real blessed.
Viva Il Papa!
Viva Pope Francesco!