A man carrying bags of used plastic passes by a poster addressed to Pope Francis at a slum area in Quezon City on Tuesday. Millions of Filipinos will gather in Metro Manila and Leyte for the Papal visit, with some of them showing the pontiff how they live.  (MNS photo)

A man carrying bags of used plastic passes by a poster addressed to Pope Francis at a slum area in Quezon City on Tuesday. Millions of Filipinos will gather in Metro Manila and Leyte for the Papal visit, with some of them showing the pontiff how they live. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 14 (Mabuhay) — The Manila Archdiocese on Wednesday joined its counterpart in Palo, Leyte in praying for good weather during Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines.

In a circular to Manila’s priests, rectors, chaplains and religious, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said rain had been falling on Leyte, which the Pope will visit on Saturday.

“Let us turn to prayer for good weather for the visit of the Holy Father. Let us implore the God of creation to clear the skies when Pope Francis arrives and stays in Tacloban so that all who are there will experience comfort as they welcome and listen to his message,” he said.

A tropical depression approaching the Philippine Area of Responsibility could intensify into a tropical storm but weaken as it approaches the country’s eastern coast, state weather agency PAGASA said before noon Wednesday.

PAGASA forecaster Jun Galang earlier said there is a chance the tropical depression may make landfall near Bicol. If it does, it may affect Leyte.

He also posted on the Manila Archdiocese’s website a prayer for good weather, which goes:

Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to you
in gratitude for the wonders of creation,
for your providence in sustaining us in our needs
and for your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.
God our Father we pray to you for good weather
And clear skies when our beloved Pope Francis lands on our shores.
We pray especially that when he encounters the people of Tacloban
It will be under fair and comfortable situations, so that all may experience
Fully the warmth of his presence.
We know that nothing is impossible to you and we ask this of you with
Humble and contrite hearts, but confident always of your solicitude and providence.
We ask this through Your Son Jesus Christ who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit now and forever.
Amen.

Earlier, Palo Archbishop John Du ordered the recital of an Oratio Imperata (mandatory prayer) for good weather in time for Pope Francis’ visit there, radio dzBB’s Rodil Vega reported.

Pope Francis, who is expected to arrive Jan. 15 in the Philippines for a five-day visit, will go to Leyte Saturday where he will lead a Mass in Tacloban City and have lunch with survivors of recent calamities in Palo.

On Wednesday morning, police in Tacloban City held a dry run for the Pope’s motorcade on Saturday. They are preparing for a motorcade amid possible rainy weather, a dzBB report said.

Tropical depression

In its 10:30 a.m. advisory, PAGASA said the tropical depression was estimated at 1,560 km east of Northern Mindanao as of 10 a.m.

The tropical depression has maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and is forecast to move west-northwest at 19 kph.

PAGASA said the tropical depression is still too far to directly affect the country, but may intensify into a tropical storm before entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday morning.

Once it enters the PAR, the tropical cyclone will be locally codenamed Amang.

But PAGASA also said the tropical depression is predicted to weaken as it approaches the eastern seaboard and has a low chance of making landfall. (MNS)