Pope Francis meets street kid who wants to be Pope

Pope Francis meets street kid who wants to be Pope
The Argentine pontiff pays a surprise visit to a children's foundation on his second day in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – After his first Mass in the Philippines on January 16, a spontaneous Pope Francis meets about 300 children living in poverty and brokenness in the country’s capital. One of them wants to be pope one day.

There are about 1.5 million street children in the Philippines, according to the UNICEF. 

Voltaire Tupaz reports.

       POPE FRANCIS: “If we take away the poor..we cannot understand the         whole message of Jesus Christ.”

Pope Francis met with street children after his first mass in the Philippines. It was a surprise visit granting the wish of the kids. We talked to some of the children and they shared how it was meeting the pope.

Angel, not her real name, is an abused child. She finds comfort in the arms of the Holy Father, who gave her a rosary. She vows to take care of it.

‘Angel’: Salamat, Pope Francis…Pag nawala ito… hahanapin. (Thank you, Pope Francis. If I misplace it, I will look for it.)

John is 10 years old and is a former rugby addict.

He receives the pope on behalf of about 300 neglected kids. He welcomes him to their new home across the Manila Cathedral. Tulay ng Kabataan protects them from violence, drugs, and prostitution. 

Through letters and drawings, the kids wrote the Pope to visit them. 

JOHN ALVIN ATIS, TULAY NG KABATAAN BENEFICIARY: May drawing…Sinulat ko, kaming dalawa ni Pope dito sa Tulay ng Kabataan… Pope Francis, sana mayakap kita. Natupad nga yung pangarap ko na mayakap ko siya…Masaya nga ako nung makasama ko siya dahil ngayon lang ako nakakita ng… Powt… powt. (Some drew. I wrote if the Pope and I can meet here at the Tulay ng Kabataan. Pope Francis, I hope I can embrace you. My wish was granted. I was happy to be with him because it’s my first time to meet a pope.)

John is sure he wants to be Pope someday. 

JOHN ALVIN ATIS, TULAY NG KABATAAN BENEFICIARY: Maging katulad niyang Pope para matulungan ko rin mga nasalanta ng bagyo, mga batang lansangan. (I want to be a pope like him so that I can help typhoon victims and street kids).

POPE FRANCIS: I was very moved from the mass today… When I visited that shelter, that home for children without their parents… How many people in the church work so that house is a home.

The pope’s compassion has not only touched a nation. He also gave new hope to kids without families.

Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler, Manila. – Rappler.com

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