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Rome's Filipino community meets the pope

Encounter ends with an embrace for Cardinal Tagle

Kerri Lenartowick for Catholic News Agency

Kerri Lenartowick for Catholic News Agency

Published: November 22, 2013 05:39 AM GMT

Updated: November 21, 2013 05:47 PM GMT

Rome's Filipino community meets the pope

Picture: AFP Photo/Tiziana Fabi

Pope Francis met with the Filipino community of Rome today, encouraging them in the wake of their native country's recent disaster to never tire of praying, even if the prayer is that of a child.

Referencing the typhoon that wreaked havoc in the Philippines, Pope Francis encouraged, “In these moments of sadness, let the power of this prayer be the most useful: 'the prayer of why.'...And I also accompany you, with this 'prayer of why.'”

“There are many things that we cannot understand. When children begin to grow, they don't understand things and begin to ask questions of their father or mother,” the Pope explained to the group gathered in St. Peter's Basilica on Nov. 21.

A child asks “one after another 'why's” but does not “wait for a response.” Rather, “the child in his insecurity needs his father and mother watch over him. He needs the eyes of his parents, he needs the heart of his parents,” the Pope continued.

As children of God, we must pray “the prayer of why,” especially in moments of difficulty, emphasized Pope Francis.

“In these moments of great suffering, don’t tire of saying, 'Why?' (Be) like children...and so attract the eyes of our Father for your people; draw the tenderness of the 'dad of heaven’ upon yourselves.  Be like the child when asking, ‘Why? Why?’”

Pope Francis had joined Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila and the Filipino community of Rome for a celebration of St. Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino catechist and martyr for the faith. The Pope blessed a mosaic icon of the young man who was proclaimed a saint by Benedict XVI last October.

Cardinal Tagle spoke of the struggles of the people in the Philippines, as well as their courage in the face of frightening circumstances. Pope Francis embraced the cardinal at the end of his remarks, assuring him of his “closeness and prayers.”

The honoring of St. Pedro Calungsod in St. Peter’s Basilica comes at a crucial time for the people of the Philippines, who are struggling to recover from the recent typhoon.

Lina Santos, who lives in Rome but is originally from the Philippines, told CNA that today’s gathering was “very very meaningful for us” because the honoring of a Filipino saint came “despite the difficulties we are encountering now.”

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“Even though we have experienced disasters, there is still hope that we can gain again our hope,” she said.

Full Story: Pope to Filipino community: pray with a child's simplicity

Source:Catholic News Agency

 

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