Archbishop invites Filipinos to fiesta with Pope Francis
MANILA, Philippines — Let’s fiesta in Luneta!
With that Archbishop Socrates Villegas invited Filipinos on Monday to go to the Luneta in Manila on January 18 for the Mass of Pope Francis.
“Do not be afraid of the inconveniences! Do not mind the weather! Do not mind getting hungry or thirsty! Do not mind standing long!” said the archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in a statement.
“The Pope is here! God is here with us through Pope Francis!” he added.
Pope Francis, who Catholics acknowledge as God’s appointed leader of His church on earth, will be in the country from January 15 to 19 on an official visit.
On January 18, a Sunday, the pontiff will lead a Mass at the Quirino Grandstand in the Luneta, which will be open to the public.
And since the day coincides with the Philippine church’s celebration of the feast of the Sto. Nino, the child Jesus, Villegas exhorted attendees to “bring [your] Santo Nino images from [your] homes!”
“Let’s dance the Sinulog with Pope Francis! Imagine millions of Filipinos dancing the Santo Nino!” he added.
The Sinulog is an ancient prayer-dance offered by devotees of the Sto. Niño, an image of which was given by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon in the 16th century.
“The Pope and the Filipinos gathered together by the Santo Nino!” Villegas said. “Be part of history.”
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