Catholic prelates thanked Pope Francis for his prayers and message of support for the typhoon victims in the country.
Daet Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon said the pontiff’s message gave hope to victims.
“We are very glad to receive Pope Francis’ expression of closeness and solidarity. It brings hope and assurance of God’s closeness to us, especially to our brothers and sisters who suffered much from the wrath of the recent typhoons,” he told church-run Radio Veritas on Monday.
“In addition to our material needs, we need the moral and spiritual support to lift our spirits. More than our eyes can see, the moral-spiritual support and bond with the Holy Father and many others, as well as the material support, are a witness to our being brothers and sisters, sharing a common humanity,” added Alarcon.
He recalled the time when the Pope came to the country in 2015 to personally be with the victims of Typhoon “Yolanda.”
“We felt his closeness and solidarity. Once again, we feel we are not alone. The presence and assurance of a father is very important for the family, especially the young, the children, and the most vulnerable,” said Alarcon.
Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon expressed hope that the Pope’s message will inspire many to work together in rebuilding and in rehabilitating their respective communities.
“Deeply grateful and appreciative of the Holy Father’s expression of solidarity and prayers for our people in the midst of this difficult time! May his oneness and sincere concern inspire in us the same spirit of solidarity to work together with renewed hope in our efforts to rebuild and rehabilitate our respective communities. God bless Pope Francis!” he said.
Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his solidarity with the Filipinos affected by disasters that hit the country in recent weeks.
The Pope, after the Angelus prayer, said “I express my solidarity to the poorest families and those who are doing all they can to help them.”
In his Twitter account, the Pope said he is one in prayer with the victims of the typhoon.
“I am near in prayer to the dear people of the Philippines, who are suffering because of the destruction and, especially, because of the flooding caused by a strong typhoon,” said the Pontiff (@Pontifex).
Five cyclones struck the Philippines in a span of two weeks, the most recent of which was Typhoon Ulysses, which caused massive flooding and inundated several parts of the country.
The death toll from Typhoon “Ulysses” has climbed to 67, with dozens more injured or missing.