MANILA, Jan 17 (Mabuhay) — Inclement weather in the Visayas region has forced Pope Francis to cut short his trip to Leyte province, where he met with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
In Palo town, his next stop after Tacloban City, the jolly Holy Father took time to personally inform the faithful who gathered of the development.
“I have to tell you something that displeases me,” he told the crowd, who didn’t let the foul weather stop them from personally seeing the Pope. “The plan today was the plane was going to leave at 5 in the afternoon.”
However, “There’s a second grade typhoon around us unfortunately, and the pilots of the airplane have insisted that we have to leave at 1 o’clock,” Pope Francis said, speaking in Spanish through a translator.
“I am told that after 1 p.m. it (weather) is going to get much worse,” Pope Francis added.
The crowd was understandably upset, as the development means Pope Francis will have to skip several items on his itinerary. However, the pontiff made efforts to keep the mood light in the Palo Cathedral.
“I ask you for two things, please, first, pray for me. Second, be quiet,” Pope Francis said, to the laughter and cheers of those gathered.
Before he left Palo, Pope Francis apologized and said he was saddened by the development, but in the end, he asked the crowd to pray to Mother Mary.
“I apologize to you, I am sad about this, truly saddened, because I had something prepared specially for you. But let us leave everything in the hands of the Lady, because I have to go now,” he said.
After praying the Hail Mary together with the people, Pope Francis was presented with a gift, an image Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, made from wood from the debris from the church that was damaged during super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
In turn, Pope Francis gave the people of Palo a mosaic of Our Lady of Popolo.(MNS)