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Pope’s Philippine visit

VATICAN (Mabuhay) : Pope Francis told a group of Filipino bishops who were in Rome attending the Synod of Bishops on Family Life that even after almost one year he still has vivid memories of his visit to their country in January this year.

CBCP News reported on October 24 that Archbishop José Palma quoted the pope as saying in a brief and casual meeting, “I have special admiration for the Filipinos.”

The archbishop of Cebu said that he continued saying, “Basically, he is taking us as people of great faith.”

Bishop Gilbert Garcera reported that the pope also recalled with great happiness the nickname, Lolo Kiko (Grandpa Francis), that the Filipino people fondly graced him with. “He was really laughing and was so happy about it,” Bishop Garcera recounted.

Archbishop Palma noted that one thing that created a good impression on the pope is how elderly people are held in high regard in Philippine society.

“It is a sign that I am appreciated. I am loved in The Philippines,” Archbishop Palma quoted Pope Francis as saying.

Pope Francis primarily visited The Philippines from January 15 to 19 to meet with and show compassion for the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), but his time in the only predominatelyCatholic country in Asia became a demonstration of the whole population of their love for their faith.