Vatican City, 22 November 2013 (VIS) - “In these moments of great suffering, do not tire of asking 'Why?' like children … and in this way you will draw the eyes of our Father to your people; you will attract towards you the tenderness of the Father of Heaven”. With these words of encouragement, the Holy Father addressed the Filipino people gathered yesterday afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica, on the occasion of the blessing of a mosaic of St. Pedro Calungsod, the Filipino saint canonised last year by Benedict XVI.
The blessing was followed by a mass celebrated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, who during his homily spoke of the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan in his country, affirming that “we have seen how faith rises from the ruins. Catastrophes cannot destroy hope. And we see that love is stronger than earthquakes and typhoons”.
Pope Francis reiterated his closeness to the Filipino people. “I have heard that it has been a difficult ordeal, too difficult”, he said. “But I have also heard that the people have been strong. The Cardinal's words are true: faith rises up from the ruins. The solidarity of all in moments of trial. Why do these things happen? They cannot be explained. There are many things we are unable to understand. When children begin to grow up, they do not understand many things and start to ask their father or mother many questions. … But if we watch carefully, we will see that the child does not expect the answer from his father or his mother. … The child needs, in his insecurity, that his father or mother look at him. … Just like a child does when he asks, 'Why? Why?', in these moments of suffering, the most useful prayer is that which asks, 'Why?'. But without expecting explanations, simply asking our Father to look at us. I too join with you, in this prayer to ask 'Why?'”.