Seeing Pope gives greeters ‘full range of emotions’

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MANILA, Jan. 16, 2015 — After waiting for hours for the coming of Pope Francis, people experience a wide range of feelings — from slight disappointment to something that can only be described as a “warm feeling.”

Pia Marie, a parishioner of Our Lady of Assumption, who saw the Holy Father whiz by Quirino Avenue along Taft Avenue, was excited before seeing the pope, but somehow was dissatisfied only a glimpse of the pope mobile as it speeded past.

Well-wishers were able to see Pope Francis during a motorcade along selected thoroughfares in Manila. (Photo: Analyn Perucho)

Well-wishers were able to see Pope Francis during a motorcade along selected thoroughfares in Manila, Jan. 15, 2015. (Photo: Analyn Perucho)

She said she was expecting to have a nearer view of the Holy Father and a possible “close encounter” with him, who is known to stop to and talk to random people in crowds.

For every person seemingly disappointed by the brief experience, there are many more who believe the chance to see the Holy Father was a grace, no matter how short-lived.

A mother with a baby said she felt a surge of unexplained “warm feeling” and somehow felt it was not an ordinary thing to see the Holy Father.

After seeing two of Pope Francis’ predecessors only on television, one female senior citizen definitely felt blessed to see Pope Francis in the flesh.

Some have managed to combine their personal desire to see the pope and a sense of service.

Groups from different parishes in Manila were situated along Quirino Avenue as human barricades and also to welcome the pope after hours of being under the sun.

Ramon Jaranilla, a lay minister of Our Lady of the Assumption, believes the pope is “a simple man, a man of mercy and compassion”, comparing his experience of seeing St. Pope John Paul II whom he says, exuded holiness. Ramon had the chance to serve as a lay minister when the then pontiff visited the Philippines during his pontificate.

For others, the motorcade shortly after Pope Francis’ touchdown at the Villamor Air base was an opportunity to express their admiration to a personal.

Camia, a peddler of rosaries and necklaces and other religious items, when asked about her opinion of the Pope said, “Para si Pope Francis sa masa (The Pope is for the poor),” She also said that Holy Father “is here to bless each of us, not only the survivors of the typhoon but all who have experienced difficulties in life.

The attraction extended even to young ones like Francine, 10, who said she wanted to see the pope simply because she wanted to thank him for his “good acts.” (Vanessa M. Puno/CBCPNews)

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