MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — Young people drew inspiration from an encounter with Pope Francis at the University of Santo Tomas.
Rain started to fall the moment the pope took the stage before a sea of young people in bright-colored T-shirts, but the 30,000 students and youth leaders remained rooted in their sections, listening to the pope urging them to cry, to love and to think, feel and act.
Csherina Sanchez said she was inspired by his words.
“He shows me, really, that asking and crying (for) the poor is something that I should be brave about doing,” she told Catholic News Service. “He said that true Christians should cry. For me it’s a really good message.”
Sanchez, 25, a student at Manila’s Emmanuel School of Mission, explained: “As Asians we have this tendency to keep negative feelings. Positive feelings we can express freely. But in terms of negative ones like sadness, fear, we keep it inside. And it’s really a freeing message that it’s OK to cry. It’s good to cry.”
Father Mark Anthony of the Diocese of Virac equated crying with empathy.
“If you know how to cry, you can actually know how to give compassion to others,” said Father Tasarra, 33. “This is a very Christian thing.”
He told CNS the pope’s directive for the young people to learn how to cry was inspiring “because sometimes I’m not so compassionate even though I’m a priest. So I have to express my emotion.”
As Pope Francis arrived his popemobile, young people ran from one corner of the sports field to another, trying to keep pace with the beaming pontiff.
Celine Villarin, 19, a member of the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines, said she could not find the words to say why the pope makes such a huge impression.
“I don’t really know, but there is something really magical in him that when you see him, goose bumps are really felt all over you,” she told CNS.
She called the pope’s message very simple “but I think it really moved us all … The way he talks, he uses simple words, and that’s why he really touches the heart of every Filipino youth.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Pope urges Filipino families: Dream, resist ‘ideological colonization’
NEXT: Pope, at Mass with millions, tells Filipinos to protect the family
Share this story