A mother's prayer to Pope Francis
MANILA, Philippines – Jacklyn Valdez, from Meycauayan, was quietly waiting with her two daughters for Pope Francis to pass by their way in Luneta on Sunday, January 18.
Despite not having anything to protect her from the rain, she decided to stay put. With only a plastic sheet to cover them, daughters Renalyn, 9, and Arnalyn, 6, didn’t mind being soaked too.
“Hindi kami magkakasakit! Nung Huwebes pa kaya kami nandito (I will not get sick! I’ve been here since Thursday),” she said so surely, with a bright, infectious smile - the same smile Pope Francis flashes.
She moved to the periphery of the venue to keep her daughters safe from the multitude who wanted to get a glimpse of the pontiff.
Around her, all kinds of Filipinos – young and old, poor and rich, sick and healthy – waited patiently for the blessing of Pope Francis. With nothing but raincoats, bags, or cardboard to protect them from the wind and rain, they showed how resilient Filipinos can be.
Blessed by a pope
Jacklyn believes in Pope Francis just as she believed in Pope John Paul II.
“Na-experience ko ng mabless ni Pope John Paul [II] eh,” Jacklyn said with a smile. (I experienced being blessed by Pope John Paul II.)
Twenty years ago, then 21 year-old Jacklyn braved the crowd to see Pope John Paul II at the Manila International Airport. She was alone then and only had one wish on her mind – to have a child.
Her encounter with Pope John Paul II, albeit brief, left a very meaningful impresson on her.
Years later, Renalyn and Arnalyn came into her life. Their births further strengthened her faith in God, and in the head of the Catholic Church.
She is now 41, a mother, and married to a security guard.
“Dinayo ko to para mabless yung [mga] anak ko,” Jacklyn said. (I went here for my children to be blessed.)
But this time around, she has a different prayer in mind. “Sana makapagsalita na [ang anak ko] para mapagaral ko siya,” Jacklyn added. (I pray that she finally speaks so I can send her to school) The loving mother stopped working two years ago so she can fully tend to Arnalyn.
Born with special needs, Arnalyn cannot form coherent syllables. She smiles a lot though, like her mother.
One in millions
Soaked and tired, Jacklyn, Renalyn, Arnalyn stood up to get a glimpse of Pope Francis. Renalyn was quiet but she attentively watched the street where Pope Francis was expected to pass by in his popemobile.
Arnalyn, on the other hand, was restless but didn’t cry. In fact, she waved and smiled to strangers around her.
Jacklyn is but one in the millions of people who trooped to Luneta with their own prayers and wishes, hoping for divine intervention; or, at least, the Pope's blessing. - Rappler.com