MANILA, Philippines – Pope Francis’ trip to Leyte includes having lunch with the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) at the residence of the archbishop of Palo in Leyte.
The archbishop’s residence is located atop a hill in Bgy. Arado in Palo, Leyte. It was among the establishments that sustained major damages due to Yolanda and needed extensive fixes.
The incumbent Archbishop of Palo is John Forrosuelo Du, who was appointed on May 9, 2012. He currently supervises the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palo, which covers the provinces of Leyte, Biliran, and the whole Samar island – all badly affected by the super typhoon. As of 2004, the archdiocese has a Catholic population of 1,165,565.
The seat of the archdiocese is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration in Palo, Leyte. It was constructed in 1596, and was elevated to a cathedral in 1938.
The Archdiocese of Palo was first created as a diocese on November 28,1937. Prior to the establishment of the diocese, the whole Leyte belonged to the Diocese of Cebu from 1595 until 1910, and then to the Diocese of Calbayog from 1910 until 1937.
In 1968, the Diocese of Maasin (which covers Southern Leyte) separated to create its own diocese.
The Diocese of Palo was elevated to an archdiocese on November 15,1982. Made suffragan dioceses under this new archdiocese are the Dioceses of Borongan, Calbayog, Catarman, and Naval.
Before Du, the archbishop had 5 bishops and 3 archbishops.
Pope Francis is not the first pope to visit an archbishop’s residence the Philippines. In 1981, Pope John Paul II visited the Archbishop’s Residence in Cebu, where he even stayed overnight. – Rappler.com
Learn about the other spots in Pope Francis’ itinerary: