A storm has forced Pope Francis to cut short his visit to the Philippine city of Tacloban, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan just over a year ago.
Pope Francis was due to have lunch with survivors of Typhoon Haiyan later on Saturday but he left Tacloban four hours early because of the approaching storm and returned to Manila.
He apologised to the crowds gathered at the main cathedral in Leyte province and said: “I am sad about this, truly saddened, because I had something prepared especially for you.”
The Pope said his pilots had told him that the weather was going to get worse. “We barely have time to get to the aeroplane,” he said.
Tropical Storm Mekkhala, with winds of up to 130 km/h (80 mph), forced the suspension of ferry services to Leyte and stranded thousands of travellers, according to the Associated Press news agency.
One woman was killed after the mass, when scaffolding near the stage collapsed, local media report.
The storm was forecast to hit the shore of nearby Samar Island later on Saturday.
During the Mass in Spanish, with a translation into English, the Pope spoke of the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan on people in Tacloban.
He told the faithful that “so many of you in Tacloban have lost everything. I don’t know what to say – but the Lord does… He underwent so many of the trials that you do”.
There was silence as the many thousands here in the deeply Catholic Philippines bowed their heads in prayer, the only noise the rain splashing onto the muddy ground beneath, reports the BBC’s Caroline Wyatt.
The pouring rain did not discourage hundreds of thousands of people from coming out to see Pope Francis.
One family I met had driven 18 hours from Davao City in Mindanao. They didn’t have any tickets for the mass, but were unconcerned, only hoping to take a small part in what is the biggest event this city has ever seen.
Tacloban is still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 7,000 people here just over a year ago. Pope Francis will meet families of some of the victims. One is Dr Clara Rosa. She lost 11 members of her family.
I asked her what it meant to her to meet Pope Francis today. “It is like having a friend visit you while you are grieving” she said, struggling to hold back tears. “You are happy your friend has come, but it is for a very sad reason.”
A national holiday has been declared in the capital for the duration of the Pope’s visit.
Security is very tight, with tens of thousands of soldiers and police deployed, after failed attempts to kill two previous popes in the Philippines.
Source: BBC NEWS
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Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils – 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV).
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction – 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV).
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry – 2 Timothy 4:3-5 (KJV).
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