Pope Francis Urges Faithful to Pray for Philippines

Pope Francis addressed a large gathering during Sunday’s mass in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square and urged the faithful to pray for victims of the recent natural disasters in the Philippines.

“I want to express my closeness to the people of the Philippines hit by a strong earthquake, and I invite you to pray for that beloved nation that has recently suffered several natural disasters,” said Francis.

Two nuns from the Philippines were in the crowd.

“This Pope really moved me because he really thinks about the last among the people and he cares about everybody,” said Sister Gemma, one of the nuns.

“He really draws you if you see him from very close.  He really moves you to pray and to witness your faith,” said Sister Emily, the other.

An earthquake struck the central Philippines last Tuesday, killing at least 170 people and damaging several churches, some of which were hundreds of years old.

The island nation has also been recently hit by typhoons Nari and Usagi, causing death and destruction.

Pope Francis has made helping the poor and vulnerable his first priority since becoming the head of the Roman Catholic Church in March.