Says he was 'deeply saddened' that weather forced him to cut short his time in Leyte
The letter of Pope Francis to Archbishop John Du of Palo.
Pope Francis has apologized for rushing his visit to Leyte province last month during his apostolic visit to the Philippines.
In a letter to Archbishop John Du of the Archdiocese of Palo, the pontiff said he was "deeply saddened” that a weather warning forced him to cut short his visit by four hours.
"This prevented a more relaxed visit with your people and in the cathedral later that afternoon," said Pope Francis.
"I ask your forgiveness for any impatience on my part at that time," he added.
Heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Mekkhala forced the pope to depart Leyte for Manila four hours ahead of schedule.
Some 130,000 people braved the weather to attend the January 17 Mass celebrated by the pope for survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan which killed at least 7,500 people and affected millions of others when it made landfall in the Philippines in November 2013.
"Returning to Rome, I wish to convey with these words my profound gratitude for your hospitality in the Archdiocese of Palo. May the Lord repay you abundantly for your goodness," read the pope's letter.
Pope Francis thanked Archbishop Du "for the witness of faith and endurance which your people showed me in the midst of trials."
The pope's letter was dated January 21 but was only made public by the Archdiocese of Palo on Tuesday.
Pope Francis visited the Philippines from January 15 to 19.
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