MANILA, Philippines – The 40 Filipino Jesuits who met Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature last January 16 decided to thank the pontiff for his time in a special way: by singing him a song composed by one of their own.
A video shared by Fr Archie Carampatan SJ shows the Jesuits singing “Amare et Servire” (To Love and Serve), a song composed by Fr Manoling Francisco SJ, while gathered around Pope Francis.
According to Carampatan, the idea to sing for the Pope was an impromptu suggestion by Fr Jose Quilongquilong. He made the suggestion while the Jesuits were waiting for the pontiff to arrive from the MOA Arena where he had spoken at a gathering of Filipino families.
It was their way, said Carampatan, of thanking the Pope for spending around an hour of his precious time with them. (READ: Filipino Jesuits on Pope visit: It’s a form of renewal)
Pope Francis linked his reaction to the song to earlier insights he shared with the Jesuits about his impression of the Philippines.
He had said that because of his short stay in the Philippines, he could not yet write a book about the country.
“After we serenaded him, he said, ‘Now I can write a book about Philippine Jesuits.’ We all laughed, including Pope Francis,” said Carampatan.
Towards the latter part of the song, Pope Francis bends his head down solemnly.
“I noticed and felt that he prayed while we were singing. Some [Jesuits] noticed that Pope Francis was teary-eyed,” added Carampatan.
The song was ideal for the purpose, he said, because it is short yet meaningful.
The meeting with the Filipino Jesuits was the second time the Pope deviated from his official itinerary. The first was when he made a visit to an orphanage for street kids in Manila on his second day in the country.
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit to become pope. – Rappler.com
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