Filipino Prisoners Ask Pope Francis to Visit Them

Hope Pontiff Will Stop by New Bilibid Prison During January 2015 Visit

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Excitement continues to build in the Philippines for Pope Francis’ upcoming trip. While an official itinerary of the Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January 2015 has not been released yet, a group of prisoners are hoping that he will visit them.

A letter was sent on September 26th to Pope Francis through Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, from the inmates of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

Located roughly 15 miles south of Manila, it is the main penitentiary in the Philippines, housing almost 20,000 inmates. The prisoners expressed their hope that the Holy Father would make a stop there.

“We hope and pray that as you continue God’s mission of loving all His children and inspiring them, you will give us a few minutes of your most precious time during your visit here in January 2015,” the letter stated.

“It will be a great blessing for us to have Christ’s disciple and our Father here in our midst, to give us and many other prisoners strength and unwavering hope in God’s love and forgiveness.”

Throughout his pontificate, the Holy Father has called attention to the most marginalized in society, especially those imprisoned. During his July 5th visit to Molise, Pope Francis visited a detention center where he stressed the need for reform and rehabilitation for inmates.

“To walk the way of rehabilitation, this is something we all need to do. All. We all make mistakes in life. And all of us must ask forgiveness for these mistakes and make a journey of rehabilitation, to not make any more,” he said.

“Some do this at home, at their workplace; others, like you, in a prison. But all, all … anyone who says he does not need this way of rehabilitation is a liar! We all make mistakes in life, and also, all are sinners.”

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