Pope Francis has asked the papal nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, to celebrate Christmas with typhoon victims still suffering from the natural disaster. The ‘Super Typhoon’, one of the strongest in living memory, made landfall in November with sustained winds of 195 mph. The typhoon claimed thousands of lives and left 4 million homeless.
According to UCANews, the Holy Father asked Archbishop Pinto to travel to Leyte, one of the worst struck areas in the Philippines. The nuncio reportedly said he would spend the night in a tent near those displaced by the storm.
Archbishop Pinto celebrated Christmas Eve Mass at the Cathedral of Leyte and the following day in Tacloban City. The nuncio to the Philippines also lead gift giving activities there before returning to Manila.
Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines noted the importance of showing a sign of solidarity to those suffering. “These are the ways we can help,” the Archbishop told UCANews.
“They may not be really big, but I [think] it’s enough to make the people feel that they are not alone.” (J.A.E.)