Message of H. E. Archbishop John F. Du on the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Archdiocese of Palo
MAY Almighty God be praised! The news confirming the Holy Father’s coming in January fills us with gratitude to God who has given us this very special favor. The decision of Pope Francis to come to the Philippines, and especially to visit the Archdiocese of Palo to show solidarity with the victims of the Yolanda catastrophe was very unexpected, but is also very much welcome. Let us all pray that this pastoral visit of the Supreme Shepherd of the Universal Church may bring hope and encouragement, unity and peace to all so that we may rise from the destruction unleashed by the fury of Yolanda to a better and brighter tomorrow.
We are trying our best to prepare for this great event and are very thankful for the help and support of our leaders in the Church and in Government, and of many groups and individuals. Manila expects millions of pilgrims. We, too in Leyte are expecting hundreds of thousands to join us. We are preparing for them as well. Let us prepare for this together, without bickering and without undermining each other’s participation. The Philippines is now united in praying fervently for Pope Francis; let us also contribute our own good will and efforts, in ensuring that the apostolic visit of the Roman Pontiff may not be marred by any untoward incident and that it may truly be a time of grace for our country and for everyone.
Many dioceses in the Visayas suffered much especially due to the Bohol earthquake and the Super Typhoon Yolanda. As we suffered together so should we also rejoice together, for in faith we understand that the Lord, in his mercy and compassion, does not only try us and test our faith; He also continues to provide us with good things, through Christ Our Lord.
+ JOHN F. DU, D.D.
Archbishop of Palo
November 14, 2014