Palo keeps Pope’s raincoat, skull cap

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TACLOBAN City, Jan. 27, 2015 -– Pope Francis’ trip to Leyte lasted half a day, but the memories he left will last a lifetime. This is what the Archdiocese of Palo hopes to ensure with the creation of a mini-museum that will feature several items belonging to the Holy Father, including the yellow raincoat he wore, his skull cap, among others.

According to Fr. Amadeo Alvero, spokesperson and media coordinator of the Archdiocese of Palo, the Pope’s short visit to the province “is really an experience that Leyteños will never forget.”

Palo Archbishop John Du gives Pope Francis a “Filipinized” version of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception as a ceremonial keepsake of his visit to the Archdiocese of Palo, Jan. 17, 2015. (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

Palo Archbishop John Du gives Pope Francis a “Filipinized” version of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception as a ceremonial keepsake of his visit to the Archdiocese of Palo, Jan. 17, 2015. (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

Papal souvenirs

The yellow poncho the pontiff wore, along with the ciborium, chalice, and linens used during the Holy Mass at the Tacloban Airport, will be displayed in a mini-museum that the Archdiocese of Palo will set up soon.

These will be among the souvenirs kept by the Archdiocese, besides the skull cap now kept at the Gonzagahaus (Archbishop’s Residence) located near the Pope Francis Center.

The priest said the pope wore three yellow raincoats during his visit to the Archdiocese but only one was preserved as the others were forcibly torn to be easily removed from him as he alighted from the popemobile and proceeded to his next scheduled activity.

Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

To express the gratitude of the faithful, the Archdiocese gave Pope Francis a “Filipinized” version of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception as a ceremonial keepsake of his visit to the Archdiocese of Palo.

The image, handcrafted by the renowned sculptor Willy Layug of Pampanga, was made from one of the rafters of the Metropolitan Cathedral of our Lord’s Transfiguration severely destroyed in the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013.

Alvero noted, however, that there are no concrete plans yet about the putting up of a marker or monument at the Tacloban Airport to commemorate the papal Mass attended by an estimated 150,000 people, who all wore yellow ponchos, the color of the Vatican.

The Holy Father recently concluded a pastoral and state visit to the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCPNews)

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