Pope Ends Asian Tour With Message of Peace

Pope Ends Asian Tour With Message of PeacePope Ends Asian Tour With Message of Peace

Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass in front of unprecedented crowds in the Philippine capital Manila. Six million people attended the ceremony or lined the Papal route to Rizal Park, according to estimates.

The pontiff urged millions gathered in Manila on a rainy Sunday to take care of one another -- and help promote peace in the world. “May he enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities,” the pope said.

“We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage,” he noted, Sputnik said in a report.

As he left the venue in the capital, some jumped over barricades and ran after the pope’s vehicle. “We love you Papa Francesco!” others yelled.

The Sunday attendance in Manila is believed to have exceeded the record numbers that gathered for a Mass there by Pope John Paul II in 1995. The Vatican said Pope Francis had dedicated the service in part to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the country in 2013.

  Learn How to Cry

Before the final mass, the pope held morning meetings with religious leaders and young people at the University of Santo Tomas which is the biggest Catholic university in Asia.

On the last day of his Asian tour, Pope asked those present at the university to “learn how to cry” for children in need. He leaves Manila for Rome on Monday.

He had prepared a speech for the occasion, but departed from the text to respond to a question, asked by 12-year-old Glyzelle Iris Palomar.

“Many children are abandoned by their parents. Many of them became victims and bad things have happened to them, like drug addiction,” the once homeless Palomar asked. “Why does God allow this to happen, even if the children are not at fault? Why is it that only a few people help us?” she asked.

In a heartfelt message, the pope replied, “When the heart is able to ask itself and weep, then we can understand something,” he said, as quoted by the Vatican news service. “Today’s world does not know how to cry,” the pontiff stressed.

Pope Francis arrived in Sri Lanka on January 13, bearing a message of peace and reconciliation among different faiths on the war-torn island as he began a two-nation Asia tour.

“I invite each one of you to ask yourselves, ‘Have I learned how to weep, how to cry when I see a hungry child, a child on the street who uses drugs, a homeless child, an abandoned child, an abused child, a child that society uses as a slave?” he said.

  Help the Poor

The 78 year old Catholic leader urged the masses to care for the poor. “No matter how much or how little we have individually, each one of us is called to personally reach out and serve our brothers and sisters in need.”

“There is always someone near us who is in need, materially, emotionally, spiritually.  The greatest gift we can give to them is our friendship, our concern, and our tenderness,” he added.

  Listen to women

Pope called on men to listen to women as they have “much to tell us.” Women are able to ask questions that men can’t grasp, the pontiff told an audience in the Philippines, where his comments drew instant applause.

“Women have much to tell us in today’s society,” he said. “We don’t allow room for women but women are capable of seeing things with a different angle from us, with a different eye.”