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article imagePope Francis completes 5-day visit to Philippines

By Leo Reyes     Jan 18, 2015 in World
Moments ago Pope Francis flew out of Villamor Air Base in Pasay City to end his five-day visit to the Philippines that was capped by a holy mass that drew a record crowd at the Rizal Park in Manila Sunday afternoon.
Despite the day-long light to heavy rainfall, more than six million people greeted the pope or attended the mass at the Quirino Grandstand inside the Rizal Park.
Before the well-attended mass, Pope Francis visited the pontifical University of Santo Tomas and spoke with the county's youth in a similar mass at the university campus.
Last Saturday the pontiff visited Tacloban City in Central Philippines and offered condolences to the victims of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan that killed over six million people in Nov. 2013. He toured the typhoon-ravaged city after offering a holy mass at the city airport with thousands of typhoon survivors and victims in attendance.
“So many of you have lost everything. I don’t know what to say to you. But the Lord does know what to say to you. Some of you have lost part of your families, the pope said.
“All I can do is keep silent. And I walk with you all with my silent heart. Many of you have asked the Lord, why Lord? And to each of you, to your heart, Christ responds from His heart upon the cross,” he added.
He toured the typhoon-ravaged city after offering a holy mass at the city airport with thousands of typhoon survivors and victims in attendance.
The Pope's visit to the typhoon-devastated city was cut short as he had to fly back to Manila to get out of the path of approaching Typhoon "Amang" that hit Leyte Province Saturday.
Before his 5-day visit to Manila, Pope Francis spent two days in Sri Lanka that included a meeting with the state's newly-elected president and his canonization of Sri Lanka's first saint, the Rev. Joseph Vas, an Indian missionary who helped revived the catholic faith among warring factions and religious leaders. Read more:
Pope Framcis and his entourage took off from Villamor Air Base enroute to Rome at 10:12 a.m. Monday, Philippine time.
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