· Before an ocean of people the Pope celebrates Mass in Rizal Park in Manila, concluding his visit to the Philippines ·
A ocean of people filled Rizal Park in Manila in order to participate in the Mass Pope Francis celebrated on Sunday, 18 January — the day which the Filipino Church celebrates the Feast of Santo Niño — concluding his visit in Asia. “The Christ Child” – the Pope recalled – “is the protector of this great country. So he reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family. Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture. In the Gospel, Jesus welcomes children, he embraces them and blesses them (Mk 10:16). 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. Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets”.
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