MANILA -- In his message last monday during the Angelus at St. Peter's square in the Vatican, Pope Francis offfered prayers for the victims of recent typhoons in the Philippines.
"I want to offer my prayers to the population of the island of Mindanao, in the Philippines, hit by a storm that has caused numerous victims and destruction. Merciful Lord, take in the souls of the dead and comfort those who are suffering as a result of this calamity. Let's pray for these people," according to Radio Veritas, quoting the message of the Holy Father .
In a related development, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has appealed to the faithful to help the people affected by typhoons "Urduja" and "Vinta" in Visayas and Mindanao in the past weeks.He urged the public to be compassionate and share their blessings in the spirit of the holiday season in areas that were hit by the typhoons.
“Kapag Pasko po ay ating ipinagdiriwang ang kabutihang loob ng Panginoon sa ating lahat. Pero hindi po kumpleto ang Pasko kapag meron tayong nakakalimutang mga tao, lalu na po ‘yung sa ating sitwasyon sa Pilipinas kadaraan lang po ng bagyong Urduja na tumama sa Samar at Leyte (On Christmas, we celebrate the goodness of of God. Christmas isn't complete if we forget other p[eople especially during this time of crisis in Urduja-hit Samar and Leyte),” he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
He added, “At ngayon po sa Mindanao, ang bagyong Vinta. Tayo pong lahat ay pinaramdaman ng Diyos ng kagandahang loob, nararapat lamang na maging daan tayo ng kagandahang loob lalo na sa mga kapatid nating nangangailangan na nawalan po hindi lamang ng bahay at hanapbuhay kundi ng mga mahal sa buhay (Now Mindanao has been battered by Tropical Storm Vinta. We have all felt the goodness of the Lord, and it is just right for us to be instruments to others who lost their houses, livelihood and even loved ones).”
Cardinal Tagle reminds them that they can deliver their donations to the local parishes, social action centers of every diocese and also at Caritas Manila, social action arm of the Archdiocese of Manila.Caritas Manila Executive Director Fr. Anton Pascual said they are ready to provide assistance to other areas affected by the storm.
According to Fr. John Young of FSUU in Butuan City, the relief goods have been delivered to Saint Augustine Cathedral in the said province and were immediately given to the affected people
The Diocese of Tagum has also sent 3,000 relief goods to those affected by the typhoon in Compostela Valley and Davao Del Norte.At the same time, Marawi Bishop Edwin Dela Peña has appealed for help for those affected by typhoon Vinta in Lanao Del Sur and Lanao Del Norte.
The typhoon, which roared through southern philippines and exited on Christmas eve left almost 200 dead and an equal number missing. Based on the data of the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council, some 18,000 families or 72,000 individuals have been affected by typhoon Vinta.( with a report from PNA); Photo: Patheos.com)