Archbishop: Greet Pope Francis, be blessed
MANILA, Philippines–Archbishop Soc Villegas urged Filipinos and the faithful on Wednesday to stand by the streets where Pope Francis would pass to welcome the pontiff who will be in the country from January 15 to 19.
Expect to be blessed, the prelate said.
“I encourage you my dear people of God to line up the streets he will take, watch the papal vehicle pass by and be blessed by the sight of the Pope passing our way going around the city,” Villegas said in a statement.
“Bring out your family images of the saints and the Blessed Virgin. Bring out your Santo Niños and crucifixes. Bring out your heart in welcome!” added Villegas, archbishop of Lingayen and Dagupan and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
Villegas then enumerated the routes the Pope would take during his five-day visit. The archbishop wrote:
On January 15 early in the evening, please welcome the Pope as he leaves Villamor Airbase taking Newport Garden to Andrews Avenue towards Airport Road-Domestic Road to Roxas Boulevard-Quirino Avenue-Leveriza Intersection until Taft Avenue.
On January 16 in the morning, please line up Taft Avenue towards Osmena-Quirino towards Nagtahan Magsaysay Boulevard until J.P. Laurel Malacanang Palace.
From Malacanang on the same day January 16, the Pope will go to Manila Cathedral at around 10:00 am passing General Solano to Casal-Ayala Bridge to Finance Road to Burgos Bonifacio Drive towards Anda Circle reaching Aduana Street and Manila Cathedral.
In the afternoon of January 16, please watch the Pope pass Taft Avenue to Leveriza Intersection-Quirino Avenue to Roxas Boulevard until the Mall of Asia where he will meet the families.
The Pope will be in Leyte on January 17.
On January 18 in the morning, the Pope will go to the University of Santo Tomas passing Quirino-Osmena Highway intersection towards Nagtahan until Espana Boulevard reaching UST. He will take the reverse route from the UST back to the Apostolic Nunciature. Watch him pass by twice that day if you live in the area.
In the afternoon on his way to Luneta, the Pope will pass Quirino Avenue, Roxas Boulevard until he reaches Kalaw Street.
Very early in the morning of January 19, the Pope will transfer to the airport passing Leveriza-Quirino towards Roxas Boulevard to Domestic Road towards Andrews Avenue and the Villamor Airport.
Villegas concluded: “Every step he makes, every car ride he takes, every moment he stays with us is precious for us. Seeing him pass by is a grace. Waving our hands at him in loving welcome is an experience of a lifetime.”
“Watch the Pope passing by. Christ is passing by. Be blessed as he passes by!”
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