Monday, February 02, 2015


The Pope is the highest ranking authority and the head of the Roman Catholic Church and Catholicism worldwide.  In three different times, Philippines was visited by three Popes which are in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, 1981 and 1995 by Pope John Paul-II and recently in 2015 by Pope Francis.  Every time the Pope visited Manila, the reception and response are always overwhelmingly.  With the record-drawing six million devotees attended in the mass on January 17, the event has just proven the Philippines as the dominant Catholic country in Asia and sealed the claim for the world’s record of biggest Pope’s congregation.

The Pope had come and gone and so much has been said and heard about the Papal Visit in Philippines.  So many have wanted to meet, see or to have an encounter with the Pope.  For a Catholic, to be with him is a privilege since it is not everyone has the chance to see or much more to get closer with the Pope.  Usually, those in authority, well-known, and dignitary persons have an easy access to meet and talk the Pope.  But for ordinary people, meeting the Pope is tough, taxing, risky and shooting the moon thing to happen.  It is really a very rare chance for someone who is an ordinary citizen that had able to come or speak to the Pope.  You have to be the few lucky to be the one.

To be one of the few to meet the Pope in a Papal visit, you have to undergo in a process of selection.  Some are lucky to represent their groups such as the oppressed children, victims of the super typhoon Haiyan and the survivors of the 7 magnitude earthquake in Bohol.  But once chosen you’re no longer ordinary for you are about to receive the unordinary assistance accorded with privilege from the coordinating team.  But for those really ordinary people, and for let say in random if you were surprisingly picked up to have the rare chance to have a close encounter to the Pope, or if
you were given the chance to meet and talk to the Pope, if you will speak with the Pope, what would your question will be or what would you say to the Pope?

Friends were asked and most of them were saying given the chance they would like to ask the Pope to pray for their family to keep them away from harm and sick.  Other would grateful to say thanks to him for having a wonderful family and friends.  It is not wondering for a responsible family man, nothing he will ask for but always the welfare only of his family for here is his primary concern and his life is revolving around here.  It also raised the desire to say thanks for everything, while some will ask for the forgiveness of their all sins.  For ordinary individual these are common instinct but for those who have undergoing through, a bit of pain from where they’re coming from will surmount.

These things have also come to my mind.  Putting myself on the same shoe and if I have to speak with the Pope, I’d rather ask him first why life is seemed not beautiful when some prayers that are not plethora to ask are not granted.  I have many questions to ask but most are too personal that I cannot even write here.  Then I will say my life is not miserable but I have fear and sadness to complete the full circle of my life.

The visit of the Pope is re-enacting into life the gospel when God sent to earth His only Son to tell the world of His love and redeem the world from our sins.  And so the same when the Pope was sent too to us to get ourselves close to God.  We are lucky to have the opportunity to bring ourselves to God to receive the great mercy and compassion.  True, the Pope is not the God and it is not to say our prayer or to worship him but instead we are just talking to someone who is so close to God and nothing less.  The Pope is here as the emissary of God to bring the message of God to His flock just like what our God did to His begotten Son.

By Alex V. Villamayor
February 2, 2015

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