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Pope reflects on his trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, during general audience

(-ONLY VIDEO-) In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis reflected on the highlights of his recent trip to Asia.  Echoing themes he talked about in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the Pope emphasized the important role families play in society. He added that he was impressed by how parents would describe their children as 'gifts from God.' He then explained that poverty is not triggered by large families, but rather by unjust economic models that put money before everything else.  POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH: Dear Brothers and Sisters:   My recent Apostolic Journey to Sri Lanka and the Philippines was a joy-filled encounter with their Catholic communities.  In Sri Lanka I canonized Saint Joseph Vaz, a great missionary whose example of charity continues to inspire the faithful in their service to the poor and in respectful relations with the followers of other religions.   Sri Lanka still suffers the effects of a prolonged civil conflict.  In my meeting with religious leaders I asked that we work together as agents of healing, peace and reconciliation.  My visit to the Philippines was a sign of solidarity with all those affected by Typhoon Yolanda.  In Tacloban we celebrated our hope in the mercy of God, who does not disappoint.  In Manila I asked families to cherish and protect the family in its fundamental role in society and in Godâ??s plan.   At my meeting with young people, I challenged them to build a society of integrity and compassion for the poor.  At the conclusion of my visit, I commended the Filipino people to their patron and protector, the Christ Child, and urged them to persevere in their precious witness to the Gospel on the great continent of Asia. Speaker: I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in todayâ??s Audience, including the various groups from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, New Zealand, Japan and the United States of America.  Upon you and your families I invoke grace and peace in the Lord Jesus.  God bless you all!