Pope's gift to Philippines: 1st message in English
MANILA, Philippines – The son of Italian immigrants in a Spanish-speaking country, Pope Francis once said he feels uncomfortable with his “poor English.”
The 77-year-old Francis, in fact, delivers speeches mostly in Italian.
The first Latin American pontiff, however, conquered this language barrier to reach out to Asia's most predominantly Catholic country.
Exactly a year ago on Saturday, October 18, Francis was shown delivering his first English-language message as pontiff. He devoted this to the Philippines, which, its government says, is the third largest English-speaking country in the world.
“Don’t get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people, and the family,” Francis said in a video message he sent for a conference convened by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. (READ: Pope to PH: Don't get tired of mercy)
Months later, for the first time as pontiff, Francis used English before a live audience. He did this during his first trip to Asia – in South Korea from August 13 to 18.
Francis, who often delivers off-the-cuff speeches, said during his meeting with Asian youth on August 15: “A good friend of mine told me yesterday: 'You cannot speak to the young with paper; you must speak and address young people spontaneously, from the heart.' But I have a great difficulty: I have poor English!”
Will he speak English again when he visits the Philippines in January 2015?
Below, watch him give Filipinos his first message in English as aired on October 18, 2013. The full transcript follows.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,
I greet all of you with the peace and joy of our Lord. The first Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization is our offering to the Year of Faith. For this I thank all of you: brother bishops, the priests, religious men and women, seminarians, and the lay faithful who organize and are participating in the conference. I am happy to learn that you came to Manila from different parts of the Philippines and Asia. The Holy Spirit has actively called you.
The Church of Christ is alive. Through this conference, I hope you would experience the presence of Jesus in your lives, that you would love the Church more and that you would share the Gospel to other people with humility and joy. Don’t get tired of bringing the mercy of the Father to the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the young people, and the family. Bring Jesus now into the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology, and social media. Let the Holy Spirit renew the creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart.
Please pray for me. I need it. I promise to pray for you especially to our mother, the blessed Virgin Mary, star of the new evangelization.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Asia! Pagpalain kayo ng Diyos.
God bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
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