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Pope Francis celebrates Mass with millions in Manila

Published Jan. 18, 8:44 p.m. PHT

Last updated Jan. 19, 4:54 p.m. PHT

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It was raining nonstop and typhoon warning alerts were up, but that didn’t stop millions of Catholics here in the Philippine capital to witness history unfold as Pope Francis caps his pilgrimage to Asia with a Mass. Jeric Pena reports on Pope Francis’ parting message to Filipinos.

JERIC PENA

Manila, Philippines

It was raining nonstop and typhoon warning alerts were up, but that didn’t stop millions of Catholics here in the Philippine capital to come out and witness history unfold as Pope Francis caps his pilgrimage to Asia with a Mass.

Authorities say that over six million people stood under the rain at Manila’s main park and surrounding areas on Sunday afternoon just to get a glimpse of Pope Francis and hear his message for Filipinos—a number that overwhelmed even the Pope himself.

Many of them spent the night here and waited for hours just to score a good spot.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI

Director, Vatican Press Office

This is the largest event (in) the history of the popes.

And this huge turnout surpassed the previous record for the largest papal crowd that was set when Pope John Paul II, now a saint, celebrated Mass at the same venue twenty years ago.

Throngs of people filled the streets leading to the park to welcome who believers consider as the representative of Jesus Christ here on earth. Pope Francis used a pope mobile inspired by the jeepney—a popular mode of transport for ordinary Filipinos. And wherever the pope goes, he is greeted with exuberant cheers. While some couldn’t help but shed a tear, unable to contain the intense feeling of happiness upon seeing the Successor of Peter.

In his homily, Pope Francis left a message of mercy and compassion to the faithful.

POPE FRANCIS

All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family.

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. Specifically, 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.

As the Mass came to an end, Pope Francis urged Filipinos to be missionaries of the faith in Asia and the rest of the world.

Reporting from Manila, the Philippines, I am Jeric Pena.