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article imagePope Francis starts 5-day visit to Philippines

By Leo Reyes     Jan 15, 2015 in World
His Holinesss Pope Francis arrives at the Villamor Air Base in the Philippines moments ago to start his five-day visit to the country which will bring him to the typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban in Central Philippines to meet with typhoon survivors.
Pope Francis is coming off a similar visit to 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.
From the Villamor Air Base, Pope Francis was escorted by security forces to his official residence for the five-day visit at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Embassy of the Holy See in the Philippines along Taft Avenue in Manila.
While in Manila, Pope Francis, who is also the head of state of Vatican, will be at the welcoming ceremony at Malacanan Palace and will be joined by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III along with Philippine officials and the diplomatic corps.
Later in the morning he will offer a mass with the bishops, priests, women and men religious at the Cathedral – Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Manila.
His second day in Manila will be capped by a mass to be held at the huge Mall of Asia Arena in the Manila Bay area.
On Saturday (Philippine time), Pope Francis and his entourage will fly to the typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban to join thousands of survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan that killed more than 6,000 people in Central Philippines.
On his return to Manila from Tacloban City, Pope Francis will visit University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in the country, for a meeting with religious leaders of the country and the youth.
His Sunday activities will be capped by a Holy Mass for the public at the Rizal Park in Manila.
Pope Francis will leave on Monday after a brief departure ceremony at the Villamor Air Base. Click here for Pope Francis' detailed schedule of activities.
Pope Francis who is noted for his humility and concern for the poor has zero tolerance for sexual offenders especially among priests and religious leaders in the Catholic church.
More about pope francis, Vatican, malacanang palace, typhoon haiyan, typhoon yolanda
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