Pope Francis Gathers Six Million Devotees For A Record Breaking Mass In Manila, Philippines
Manila — It is a wrap for Pope Francis’ tour of Asia as papal visit to the Philippines concludes with a record setting outdoor mass. The Pope had visited a number of countries in Asia including South Korea and Sri Lanka but the culminating point of the tour was an open air mass held at the Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines.
About an unprecedented number of six million to seven million devotees were present during the outdoor mass, making it the biggest gathering for a papal event, surpassing Pope John Paul II’s five million at the same venue in 1995.
The weather was really terrible during the Pope’s visit, forcing him to cancel most of the activities planned for him in the Philippines. But the bad weather and constant rain didn’t stop Filipino devotees from attending the mass on Sunday. Most of the devotees had been waiting since 4 in the morning just to see the Pope. Many even came from far off provinces just to be a part of what they deem as a historic event that could be their only opportunity of seeing the Pope in their lifetime.
Pope Francis arrived at location riding his ‘popemobile,’ a vehicle inspired by the local jeepneys, followed by his entourage. The people were ecstatic and were truly overjoyed just to be near the presence of the Pope.
One child had even remarked that he has seen god in the Pope’s eyes.
Pope Francis left the Philippines for Rome the next morning surrounded by singing and dancing crowds to bid him farewell.
On his six day tour of Asia, Pope Francis also visited Tacloban, the area ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan last 2013. He was supposed to conduct a lunch in with the typhoon victims but it was cancelled due to the bad weather. Instead, a mass was held with the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in attendance.
Pope Francis had truly left a mark of hope in the lives of many Filipinos. The support for him is overwhelming and in his short visit, he was able to impart knowledge and wisdom to Asia’s largest Catholic country with 80% of the total population considering themselves a Catholic.