On Sunday, Pope Francis led a prayer for people of the Philippines, who recently went into a state of national calamity after Typhoon Haiyan struck the country last Friday.
The pope “preached on the resurrection and eternal life in his Sunday Angelus, led thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square in silent prayer for the typhoon victims and asked Catholics to ‘send concrete help,'” according to Time magazine.
More than just public prayer, Pope Francis also tweeted a prayer towards the Philippines on Saturday, writing, “I ask all of you to join me in prayer for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda, especially those in the beloved islands of the Philippines.” More than 33,000 accounts retweeted the article, with just more than 16,000 favoriting it.
Pope Francis continued his social media prayers with a tweet Monday that read, “We remember the Philippines, Vietnam and the entire region hit by Typhoon Haiyan. Please be generous with prayers and concrete help.” Within two hours of posting, the tweet had about 5,100 retweets and 2,800 favorites.
Vatican secretary of state Pietro Parolin sent a telegram to Filipino President Benigno Aquino III on behalf of the pope. According to CBCP News, Parolin said Pope Francis “is especially mindful of those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and of those who have lost their homes. In praying for all the people of the Philippines, the Holy Father likewise offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they assist the victims of this storm. He invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation for the nation.”
Pope Francis' words are joined by the Catholic Church's aid the Philippines. “Catholic Relief Services is already mobilizing aid and is preparing to send response teams as soon as the airports reopen,” reported Time.
The Philippines has the largest amount of Catholics in Asia, according to the Associated Press, “and Filipinos are one of Rome’s biggest immigrant communities.”
The Huffington Post published a story on the Pope’s message and released a galley of photos that showed the damage by Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines.
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