MANILA (Mabuhay) — Pope Francis giving the Philippines a merciful and compassionate embrace is the theme of the official logo of the Holy Father’s upcoming visit to the country in January.
The logo features arms around a yellow circle representing the Philippines, the Papal Visit’s official website PapalVisit.ph said.
“The current Pope is well known for expressing his love and care for people by spontaneously hugging and kissing them. The red and blue circles or arms therefore symbolize the Pope’s Merciful and Compassionate Embrace, and by extension, Christ’s loving embrace. The Pope now comes to the Philippines to embrace us with his arms of love,” it said.
But it added the logo’s blue, red and yellow colors symbolize the Philippines and the Filipino people. These are also the colors of the Philippine flag.
More importantly, the PapalVisit.ph site said the Pope’s visit is “in solidarity with the victims of recent calamities.”
It also said the blue and red circles appear like ripples coming from the Cross in the inner circle.
“We pray that the Papal visit will indeed create ripples of compassion and mercy throughout the Filipino nation and beyond January 2015,” it said.
Pope Francis is due to visit the Philippines Jan. 15 to 19, and is expected to visit areas hit by recent calamities, including those devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The innermost circle in the logo resembles the Philippines as a pearl – a nod to one of the country’s nicknames as the Pearl of the Orient Seas, the site said.
A white Cross inside the circle symbolizes the Christian faith, “and our fervent prayer that the center of our country be our Lord Jesus Christ,” it added.
“It serves as a reminder as well that more than a State Visit, the primary objective of the Papal visit is a religious one. He comes to show and share the Lord’s mercy and compassion with the Filipino people,” PapalVisit.ph said.
Meanwhile, the red circle symbolizes Mercy, one of the themes of Pope Francis’ visit. It said red is the color of blood and recalls Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our salvation.
The blue circle means Compassion, the color of divine presence.
Even the sequence of colors has a symbol that reflects the Philippine flag: Yellow at the center, blue on top, and red at the bottom.
“The red and blue circles appear like arms embracing the yellow circle. These are the merciful and compassionate arms of the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, embracing the Philippines, the pearl of the orient seas,” the site said. (MNS)