MANILA, Philippines – Below is the full transcript of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s message to Pope Francis during the pontiff’s concluding Mass in the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Sunday, January 18.
Most Holy Father,
In the name of the Archdiocese of Manila, of the millions of Filipinos here gathered tonight, in the name also of the people from government, the military, the police, the security people, from the mass communications, from the parishes, and the many benefactors who worked tirelessly for your pastoral visit, and in the name of every Filipino whom you have strengthened in faith these past days, I once again say to you: muchisimas gracias. Thank you very much. Maraming, maraming salamat po.
I know many people want to say thank you to you: the street children, the orphans, the widows, the homeless, the informal settlers, the laborers, the farmers, the fisherfolk, the sick, the abandoned elderly people, the families of missing persons, the victims of discrimination, violence, abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking, the Filipino migrant workers and their families, the survivors of natural calamities and armed conflict, the [non-Catholic Christians], the followers of non-Christian religions, the promoters of peace, especially in our beloved Mindanao, and the whole of creation that grows, all of us want to say again and again, maraming salamat po, Santo Padre. (Thank you very much, Pope).
You often end your meetings and encounters by saying, “I ask you to pray for me.” We, Filipinos, promise: we will pray for you. But we also want to assure you, to remind you that Jesus, Jesus prays for you.
Jesus himself said to Peter, “I have prayed for you, Peter, that your own faith will not fail.” Your Holiness, you are blessed. Jesus prays for you. How blessed you are. And we, your beloved Filipinos, unite ourselves with Jesus in praying for you to God, the Father.
You arrived in the Philippines 3 days ago. Tomorrow, you will go. Every Filipino wants to go with you. Don’t be afraid. Every Filipino wants to go with you – not to Rome – but to the peripheries.
We want to go with you to the shanties, to the prison cells, to hospitals, to the world of politics, finance, arts, the sciences, culture, education, and social communication. We will go to those worlds with you to bring the light of Christ.
Jesus is the center of your pastoral visit and the cornerstone of the visit. We will go, Holy Father, with you where the light of Jesus is needed.
Here in Luneta, the Quirino Grandstand, where heroes are revered, where newly elected presidents take office, and popes meet the Filipino people, here in this place of new beginnings, please, Holy Father, send us as your missionaries of light. Send us.
Before you go, Holy Father, send us, your beloved Filipinos, to spread the light of Jesus, and wherever you see the light of Jesus shining, even in Rome, even in Santa Marta, remember: the Filipino people are with you in spreading the light of Jesus.
Mabuhay ka, Santo Padre. Sabihin po natin (Let us say): Mabuhay, Santo Papa! Mabuhay si Kristo! (Long live Christ!) Let the light of Christ shine. – Rappler.com