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Pope Francis visited the Philippines for the first time since he was elected as the new head of the Catholic church in 2013. Let’s take a look at his wonderful life and discover how ‘human’ the Holy Father is.



According to Father Luciano Felloni, an Argentine priest who met the Pope before, he would always see Father Jorge wearing his old shoes and taking the public transport. Proof that even before he became a pope, he has always lived a simple life.
 
“Nakikita mo lagi ‘yung suot ng pari na maitim, tapos luma. Halata na luma [rin ‘yung] sapatos [na] suot niya. [Tapos] nagco-commute siya [at] wala siyang kasamang mga alalay,” Father Luciano describes.



When he was still a priest, Pope Francis was known for being strict and serious. He even ousted 35 seminarians before when he was still a rector.

“Maraming seminarista na matigas ang ulo, tumakas during [one of their activities] papunta sa chapel, pagdalaw sa tao. So there was a time na talagang pinaalis niya, kumuha siya ng dalawang bus, pinuno ang bus,  tanggal [ang mga seminarista],” Felloni said.

But despite being strict, the Holy Father knows how to crack a joke.

“To put an example, nagmimisa siya para sa mga madre. Habang nagsasalita, sabi, ‘Kayo ay asawa ni Kristo pero kapag nakita ko ang mga mukha ninyo parang mga  biyuda ni Kristo.’ ‘Yung mga ganoong joke, na hanggang ngayon dala-dala niya,” Father Luciano said.



Pope Francis never dreamt of becoming a priest but he was very religious. One day, when he went to the church for confession, this was when he realized his calling.

“Pumasok siya sa simbahan at may nakitang pari na dayo roon. So nilapitan niya at nangumpisal, sabi niya, sa sobrang pagiging maawain ng pari sa kaniya, naramdaman niyang may special something inside na  nagsabi sa kaniyang ito ang iyong ‘calling,’” Father Luciano said.

After contemplating, Pope Francis broke the news to his family that he wanted to enter priesthood. At first, his mother disapproved of it.

“‘Yung nanay [niya] ay galit na galit. Ayaw niya at hindi sinuportahan ng nanay niya ang bokasyon niya sa umpisa,” Felloni added.
 

 

But God does work in mysterious ways, eventually, his family agreed to his decision. Now, Father Jorge is the head of the Catholic church.
 

 

Pope Francis, like all of us, had his share of puppy love. He had a relationship once with Amalia Damonte, his neighbor and childhood friend.

Their relationship didn’t last that long but Amalia would remember Pope Francis asking her hand for marriage at the young age of 12.
 

 

If Felloni were to explain why Pope Francis values mercy and compassion that much, here’s what he has to say:
 

“I think ‘yun ang tinutukoy ng buong mensahe niya, na kung awa lang ‘yung awa sa taong napinsala ay walang silbi kung hindi mo tatapatan ng gawa, kaya mercy and compassion [ang mensahe niya].”
 

Pope Francis loves to be with people, most especially those who are sick and weak. The very reason why he is considered “The People’s Pope.”-Gerald Vista/ARP/BMS

About Erick Abel

Erick Abel
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