Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Top Ten List of the Pope's Visit

Written by Robby Tantingco and Photos by Martin San Diego 

Now that the Pope’s visit is almost done, I drew up my 10 Best Moments and 10 Worst Moments in ascending order of importance. Please don't argue, but you may suggest, or give your own list smile emoticon


10. The efficient and elegant translating of the Pope's speeches by his official translator. Does anyone know his name?

9. Cardinal Tagle's sparkling-clear speeches which always put the events in perspective, articulate our thoughts and show the Pope (and the world) our best qualities as a nation

8. That part of the Mass at the Manila Cathedral where the Pope walked to the front pews to greet the retired priests and the wheelchair-bound nuns. He squeezed his way between the wheelchairs to reach to the farthest nun, and the handle of one wheelchair even caught his vestments. Like any regular guy!

7. The solemnity of the concluding Mass at Luneta. Even CNN noticed it: "It was festive but the moment the Mass began, millions of Filipinos hushed down and turned into a prayerful mood. Amazing!"

6. The incredible patience of Filipinos who stood in the rain for hours (or tens of hours), shivering and starving, to wait to get a glimpse of the Pope--a glimpse!

5. The security for the Pope, which succeeded in protecting the world's most important leader from dark forces lurking in the dark. I can imagine how many bottles of antacids these guys consumed every time the Pope rode into the night in his non-bulletproofed popemobile!

4. The Pope's departure from his English speeches and homilies so that he could speak from the heart. Can you imagine the irony and miracle of a pope shifting to a language we don't understand (Spanish) to be understood?

3. The unannounced encounter with the street children after the Manila Cathedral mass. It marked the end of the cold, uptight "state visit" and set the warmer, more relaxed tone of his "spiritual journey"

2. The gut-wrenching moment at the UST program when the little girl broke down and asked the question which even the Pope himself said he had no answer for: “Why does God let children suffer?”

1. The bravery of this Pope who proceeded with his trip to Tacloban despite the real danger of the approaching typhoon. I held my breath from the time the plane took off at 7 a.m. until it landed safely back at 2 p.m. "You are the reason I made this trip to your country," the Pope told the Yolanda victims. "I am sorry I don't have the words to say to you, but I am here." That, to me, was the very soul of Pope Francis revealed for all the world to see.

Next: Top 10 Worst Moments


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