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Pope Francis in the Philippines: Five emotional moments

Pope Francis hugs 12-year-old Glyzelle Palomar (PA)

On his flight home from the Philippines, Pope Francis spoke of how moved he was by the reaction of Filipinos to his visit. “The gestures (of the people) moved me,” he told reporters. “They are not protocol gestures, they are good gestures, felt gestures, gestures of the heart. Some almost make one weep. There’s everything there: faith, love, the family, the future.”

Here are five of the most emotional moments of the Pope’s time in the Philippines:

A surprise visit to rescued street children…

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a foundation for rescued street children in Manila. He visited the ANAK-Tnk Foundation after celebrating Mass in Manila Cathedral. He spent about half an hour greeting an estimated 300 children.

Tacloban mass…

Pope Francis braved a tropical storm to encourage survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which left much of the central Philippines devastated 14 months ago. In an emotional, off-the-cuff talk, he acknowledged their despair yet promised that, thanks to the love of Jesus and Mary, they were not alone.



Francis comforts a tearful child…

Pope Francis set aside the text he had prepared for a meeting with young Filipinos at the University of Santo Tomas after a 12-year-old girl asked him a tearful question about why God allows suffering. “Certain realities in life can only be seen through eyes cleansed by tears,” the Pope said after listening to Glyzelle Palomar, who used to live on the streets but now has a home thanks to the ANAK-Tnk Foundation.

The papal Mass in Manila…

More than six million people attended what is thought to be the largest papal Mass in history.

Meeting the father of Kristel Padasas…

Pope Francis met the father of Kristel Padasas, the young woman who died at Saturday’s Mass in Tacloban. The 27-year-old volunteer, was fatally injured when scaffolding by the stage where the Mass was taking place fell down. “I was edified at the talk I had with the father of Kristel,” Francis said. “He said she died in service, he was seeking words to confirm himself to this situation, to accept it.”

Pope Francis meets the father of Kristel Padasas, a young Catholic volunteer who was killed on Saturday while helping organise his Mass in typhoon-hit Tacloban (CNS)