Youth on Pope Francis’ message: Heartfelt, timely, inspiring
MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm Amang did not dampen the Filipino youth’s eagerness to see and hear Pope Francis’ message to them on Sunday, January 18.
Among the highlights of the Pope’s message, delivered impromptu in Spanish and translated in English by Msgr. Mark Gerald Miles include to “weep”; the need for “young, holy people"; “to be surprised by God”; concern for the environment; “love the poor;” and ensure that women are represented in the society.
(Read FULL TEXT: Pope Francis' message, youth encounter, UST)
Jasmin Mariega, 20, said she would rather endure the rain and the long lines than wait for the next Pope visit.
"It's really a once in a lifetime event," she told Rappler. "Iyong gap ng visits ng Pope dito sa Pilipinas naging 11 years, 15 years, then 20 years. Gaano katagal na ang susunod?" (The gap of the Papal visits here in the Philippines is increasing. When is the next time then?)
Before Pope Francis, the Asia’s oldest university was visited thrice by previous popes: Pope Paul VI in 1970 and Saint John Paul II in 1981 and 1995.
Saint Pope John Paul II lead the 1995 World Youth Day celebrations at UST.
"It's a privilege for us Thomasians na si Pope pa talaga ang pumunta dito. Ikaw na lang ‘yung pupunta," Mariega added. (It's a privilege for us Thomasians to know that he's really the one who came here. You only need to show up.)
Rekindling values, refreshing Catholism
The Pope's message was heartfelt, 18-year-old Atom Monfero expressed, saying it appeals to all ages.
"Iyong points ng reflection ni Pope talagang nasapul ang mga kabataan, lalo na sa mga issues ngayon, Monfero said. (The points of Pope's reflections really hit close to home for the youth, especially on today’s issues).
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Marie Robles hopes that the Pope's visit will rekindle the fading values of some Filipino youth, including their Catholic faith.
"It’s very important, very timely because it (Pope’s message) instills values to the youth especially nowadays na nawawala na ang mga ‘yun. Parang na-refresh ang iyong Catholicism," Robles explained. (It’s very important and very timely since it instills values to the youth, especially nowadays when these are lost. It's as if our Catholicism is refreshed.)
Concluding his message, Pope Francis apologized to the youth for not reading his prepared text to them, and said, “There is a phrase that consoles me: that reality is superior to ideas. The reality that you have is superior to the paper I have in front of me.” – Rappler.com