It was an exhausting and deteriorating days for us as we bid to make and partake in his historical visit to the Philippines. But, despite these, we are given strength, providence of hope and love. The heat under the sun, the tears of the clouds sprinkling to devotees, faithfuls, religious and onlookers, had no match to the vigors and unstodgy faith of the Filipinos.
We lined and joined the phalanx, hoping to chanced a glimpse of the Supreme Pontiff. We took part like others to patiently wait for the advent of the Pope. It was a humid day of January 16, 2015 when we set foot on the road, with high spirit of hope to see Papa Francesco.
The dusk comes and the twilight sealed off Manila and like many other people who waited, we chanced, overcomingly viewed him momentarily. It seems that he was like the light in the hues.
I had goosebumps, my heart stopped at that moment. That was my memorable three seconds of my life ever. And I silently wished and conducted a sign of the cross. It was my first time to see the Pontiff closely. It seems futile and impossible but he was present and alive.
And the day has come. It was Sunday of January 18, 2015 and Papa Francesco conducted concluded mass in Quirino Grandstand. Attendees of the said grandeur gathering was around six to seven millon. And again, we participated to this one of a lifetime event. Dawn of the third Sunday which coincided to the Feast of the Holy Child (Sto. Niño), we braverously took the road to Luneta. Anxieties are high, exhillirating moments are in the threshold as we traversed to the event place. And we came to the venue and the crowds are unparalleled. Millions filing up to Luneta.
Unfazed by the numbers, we courageously waded to the mammoth crowd. To this kind of scenario, stampede is likely to occur but thanks for God’s grace. Despite the wades of the crowd, we made it to the quadrant where we have a closer chance to see the Pontiff.
And yes, we reached quadrant seven where we nested. I cannot imagine how we surpassed the millions of spectators.
Late afternoon, the clouds started to drizzled. As we waited for the mass, we joyfully danced to the tune of Sinulog and practiced liturgical songs. And we ended the mass solemnly.
Despite the odds of the event, we can say that we survived. Because its serves as a challenge. How true we are to our devotion. How faithful we are in waiting and search for Christ.
If someone will ask me if I will do this again, despite the hardships that we had encountered. I will optimistically say YES. Because God never fails me to provide YES when I needed it.
Thank you for reading my Papal Visit Journey. Thank You Lord, Thank You Santo Padre Francesco!