What now after Pope visit? Tagle: Reflect on his messages
MANILA, Philippines – After 5 days in the Philippines that saw Pope Francis diverting from prepared speeches and celebrating Mass under the rain along with millions of Filipinos, the Argentine pontiff is now flying back to Rome.
Once the songs and dances die down and the festive mood is over, what now? Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the Filipino Catholic faithful to reflect on the Pope's messages and translate them into action.
In a press conference after the Pope's plane took off from Villamor Airbase on Monday, January 19, Tagle said the Pope's messages demand deep reflection from the millions who turned out to meet the pontiff.
"May we spend time relishing the event. There is so much to reflect on, to pray over," Tagle added.
The Manila archbishop recalled how Filipinos were still able to recall from memory the song "Tell the World of His Love," the theme song of the 1995 World Youth Day attended by the late Pope John Paul II.
This, Tagle said, was proof of the lasting impact of John Paul II's visit, an effect he expects to also come from Francis' 5-day visit.
"I'm sure the Pope's visit also has that effect, but we have to allow that to deepen," Tagle said.
He mentioned several key themes of Francis' homilies and speeches: the call to love and serve the poor, to appreciate the insights of children, and the call for Filipinos to be missionaries of the faith. (READ: Pope Francis in the Philippines: Speeches and homilies)
He added: "These are not only thoughts. When we ponder them, they will progress on to action." (READ: IN QUOTES: Pope Francis in the Philippines)
"As he said to the youth: think well, feel well, do well."
The Manila archbishop also thanked government officials, security forces, and the millions of Filipinos who worked together to ensure the success of the event.
"[This event] is a miracle in itself. We were able to show to the world that it is possible. Communication, collaboration are not just ideas. They can be put into action," Tagle said.
Watch the whole press conference below.