The threat of a category 2 typhoon hitting Tacoblan, didn't stop Pope Francis. As he explained at the Mass he presided over at the city's international airport, his visit to the Philippines had one goal: meeting the survivors of typhoon Haiyan.
"I’d like to tell you something close to my heart. When I saw from Rome that catastrophe, I felt I had to be here. And on that day, on those very days, I decided to come here. I am here to be with you. A little bit late, but I’m here. I have come to tell you that Jesus is the Lord, and that He never lets us down.”
Pope Francis put the homily he had prepared aside and addressed the faithful in Spanish. With the help of a translator, he explained that like any other man Jesus had also suffered.
"Many of you have asked the Lord, looking at Him: Why, Lord? And the Lord answers to each one of you, to your heart, Christ responds with his heart. It's the only thing I can tell you. Let us look to Christ, He is the lord and He understands us because He underwent all the trials that we go through.”
Wearing a yellow raincoat at all times, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the typhoon and their families. He also asked the attendants to pray to Our Lady in silence.
"Let's pray like children when they are afraid: Mum! Perhaps it's the only word that can express what we feel when are in darkness: Mother, Mum.”
All the pilgrims listened to the Pope's words in a moving silence...They attended the Mass despite the hard weather conditions.
The Archbishop of Palo thanked Pope Francis for visiting Tacoblan and bringing with him hope, despite the bad weather.
MSGR. JOHN F. DU
Archbishop of Palo (The Philippines)
"Our deep appreciation for your presence, most Holy Father. You come in spite of this weather here in Leyte, the diocese of Palo, we can hardly express in words our thanksgiving to you.”
After the Mass, the Pope left the airport riding his Popemobile, especially equipped for the rain. He also greeted some of the 300,000 people who had attended the ceremony.