1,200 youths led by 2 orphans to welcome Pope Francis
MANILA, Philippines – Some 1,200 youths led by two orphans will greet Pope Francis when he arrives in the Philippines for his apostolic visit in January.
“When he disembarks from the plane, 1,200 young men and women will greet him with vibrant music and dance. Two children will offer him flowers. They [are] orphans who have come to know God as our Father through the love and care of selfless men and women,” said Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado, chair of the papal visit’s arrival-departure committee, in a statement.
“We shall be welcoming the Holy Father at dusk on Jan. 15, but despite the gathering in darkness, we plan to brighten the night with the warmth of our love,” Mercado added in a statement read by Fr. Joselito Jopson, ministry of media and public affairs director of the Diocese of Pasig.
Jopson said the welcoming rites for the Pope would be simple.
“It would be very simple but the protocols for welcoming a state leader will be observed. We’ll add a little bit of warmth like the flowers … enough to really get the message across,” Jopson said, adding that the youth who will welcome the Pope are students from various schools.
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