This general view shows millions of faithful attending a Mass held by Pope Francis at Rizal Park, Manila Sunday. Pope Francis celebrated Mass with millions of singing and cheering Catholics in the Philippine capital in one of the world's biggest outpourings of papal devotion. (MNS photo)

This general view shows millions of faithful attending a Mass held by Pope Francis at Rizal Park, Manila Sunday. Pope Francis celebrated Mass with millions of singing and cheering Catholics in the Philippine capital in one of the world’s biggest outpourings of papal devotion. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – An expression of “deep joy and source of hope for a nation weary of calamities and politics” was how Vice President Jejomar Binay described on Monday the Filipinos “enormous enthusiam” for Pope Francis.

“On behalf of our people, I express our sincerest gratitude for the blessings we received during the apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines,” Binay said in a statement.

“The enormous enthusiasm for His Holiness, as evidenced by the six million people who attended the outdoor Mass in Quirino Grandstand and the thousands of people who lined up in every papal route despite the heavy rain, is an expression of deep joy and source of hope for a nation weary of calamities and politics,” he said.

Binay was among those who welcomed the Pope when he arrived in the country last January 15. He was also among those who sent off the Roman Catholic pontiff.

He also joined the millions of Filipinos, who gathered at the Luneta Park in Manila last Saturday, to hear the Pope’s Mass, his last biggest event before he left for Rome this Monday morning.

“We must all draw strength from the inspiring example the Holy Father to reach out to everyone.  As we learned from Pope Francis, we are all given a specific task and special responsibility by the Lord to make a difference,” Binay said.

“For those of us in government, this means working double time and working together to help our countrymen who have endured hardship and suffering so that we can, in the words of the Pontiff, “build a society worthy of great spiritual and cultural heritage.”

“There is so much to be done and in our humble contribution to nation-building may the flow of mercy and compassion for the poor  live in us all,” the Vice President added. (MNS)