It was one of the highlights of his visit to the Philippines, but a typhoon cut it short. Pope Francis met with the survivors of typhoon Haiyan at Palo's cathedral and only had time to tell them…he had to leave.
"I have to go now.”
Showing once more his abilities as a parish priest, the Pope explained the reasons of his sudden departure.
"Our flight to Manila was scheduled at five, but there's a category 2 typhoon around, and the pilots told us we must leave at one.”
Palo's cathedral was full of pilgrims. Among them were priests, seminarians, bishops and consecrated people. All of them had survived typhoon Haiyan. Pope Francis repeatedly had said that he wanted to meet with them.
"I'm sorry for all this, and I am very sad about it, because I had written something for you.”
Despite the sudden change of plans, the atmosphere of the event was warm. The participants gave Pope Francis a statue of Our Lady and prayed together before he left.
Afterward, he rushed to the airport, riding his Popemobile all the way from Palo's cathedral to Tacloban's International Airport.
When he arrived, the plane was already waiting for him. It took off amid strong winds and heavy rain, heading back to Manila.