Pope Francis Thanks People of Palo for Their "Witness of Faith and Endurance"

Sends Letter Apologizing for Early Departure Due to Oncoming Typhoon

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In a letter sent two days after returning to Rome, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to the Archdiocese of Palo while apologizing for his early departure.

During his apostolic visit to the Philippines in January, the Holy Father visited Tacloban city, the area struck hardest by super typhoon Yolanda, and celebrated Mass. Another typhoon approaching during his visit forced the Pope to cut short his visit to the island.

Addressed to Archbishop John Du of Palo, the Pope thanked the bishop and the faithful for their heartfelt welcome.

«May the Lord repay you abundantly for your goodness,» he wrote. «I thank you too, wholeheartedly, for the witness of faith and endurance which your people showed me in the midst of their trials. I will never forget this – may the Lord never permit me to –and I will keep them in my prayers.»

The 78 year old Pontiff expressed his sadness at having to depart four hours earlier than scheduled, which he said «prevented a more relaxed visit with your people and in the Cathedral later that afternoon.»

«I ask your forgiveness for any impatience on my part at the time,» he wrote.

Concluding his letter, Pope Francis once again thanked the faithful for their example of strength and generosity.

«May the Lord reward you greatly,» he wrote. «I also ask you, please to pray for me and to ask those entrusted to your care to do the same.»

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On ZENIT’s website:

To read the full text of the Pope’s letter, go to: 


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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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