MANILA, Philippines – To Pope Francis, the Church must stand as a place “of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved.”
To the Filipino Catholic faithful, the church is more than just a place of worship. It is a point of pride for their towns and cities; considered historically significant treasures and visually stunning monuments to the decades of Roman Catholic influence in the archipelago.
Photos of beautiful Spanish-era churches are among netizens’ most popular answers to Rappler’s #ShowThePope, a crowdsourcing effort to answer the question: What do you want the Pope to see in the Philippines?
For heritage advocate and popular tour guide Carlos Celdran, the churches of Intramuros in the capital Manila are particularly significant.
“I would #showthepope Intramuros and ask for help in rebuilding all of its seven churches,” he tweeted.
@jasonilagan @paterno_II @rapplerdotcom I hope @Pontifex advocates reconstruction of Intramuros churches. pic.twitter.com/0V9IPEjHnj— carlosceldran (@carlosceldran) December 24, 2014
The Walled City, as Intramuros is called, was home to 7 churches before World War II.
Only two of the original 7 now remain: the San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Manila Cathedral, where Pope Francis will celebrate his first Mass in the Philippines.
“Intramuros was the Asian Vatican. The physical spiritual center of PH until destroyed in WW2. We need to regain its significance,” Celdran said.
Outside Manila, netizens share photos of their towns’ cultural treasures.
@MariejuanaC tweeted this photo of the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours in Taal Town, Batangas, considered the largest Catholic church in Asia.
@rapplerdotcom I will show Pope Francis the Basilica of St. Martin of Tours in Taal, Batangas. #ShowThePope pic.twitter.com/pwFUW3QP7A— J (@MariejuanaC) December 23, 2014
Rappler @jodeszgavilan said she would like to #ShowThePope photos of the churches in Visayas that were destroyed in the Bohol earthquake last year – to tell the Pope that “the Pinoy faith [is] still intact amid the work that needs to be done.”
Rappler @Jodeszgavilan says she'll #ShowThePope photos of some destroyed chapels in Visayas. pic.twitter.com/eD7489cEtH— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) December 23, 2014
Here are other beautiful churches and symbols of faith that social media users want the Pope to see:
I wanna #ShowThePope the beautiful Church of the Monastery of the Transfiguration here in Bukidnon. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/vwTt582mAg— Kring (@ItsIreneCabrera) December 22, 2014
I'll #ShowThePope INA, Our Lady of Penafrancia, in her 260-yr old sanctuary in Naga City. pic.twitter.com/jKlDsdnw9d— Xavier L Olin SJ (@xavierolinsj) December 23, 2014
@rapplerdotcom @Pontifex I want to #ShowThePope the magnificence and grandeur of the Palo Metropolitan Cathedral 🙂 pic.twitter.com/pJAV7ELqeS— Christopher Billes (@camtochris) December 29, 2014
#ShowThePope the largest rosary in the Philippines! Location: New Christ The King Cathedral, Diocese of Tagum pic.twitter.com/0KSOwoYuFi— alona morrie (@alonamorrie) December 22, 2014
I will #ShowThePope the 17th Century Church of the Immaculate Conception in Culion, Palawan. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/p6BlujvaSd— raffy magno (@raffymagno) December 22, 2014
What about you? What do you want to #ShowThePope?
Tweet us your photos using this hashtag, and we will include your entries in a gallery that we will send to the Vatican. We’ll also feature the best entries in our stories. – Rappler.com
Join Rappler in a 100-day countdown to Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines: a journey from the Vatican to Tacloban. Tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag #PopeFrancisPH!
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