Benedict XVI expressed his closeness to the Filipino people who lost family members and homes in Typhoon Ondoy that caused massive flooding in the Metro Manila area in an audience with Mercedes Arrastia-Tuason, the new ambassador from the Philippines to the Holy See, according to an Oct. 2 Zenit news release. He assured the “beloved Filipino people” of his closeness and prayers.

In his address to the envoy, the Pontiff expressed his confidence in the resilience of the Filipino people to draw on all possible resources, spiritual and material, so that the citizens “may flourish in body and soul, knowing the goodness of God and living in solidarity with their neighbors.” He cited the several development initiatives being taken in the country such as the modernization of irrigation systems, the improvement of public transportation systems, and the continuing reform of social assistance programs.

Pope Benedict XVI called for honesty, integrity and an unwavering fidelity to the principles of justice, works of charity and perseverance in peace-building, recognizing that the deep faith of the Filipino people together with their cultural heritage and democratic values, will enable the country to shine as an example to all. Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-27032?l-english

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