It was not long ago when our beloved Pope showed recognizable care and love for those in need. On November 6, 2013, Pope Francis took the media by surprise when he embraced and kissed the head of a man who suffered from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder which causes tumors to develop in the nervous system. The immediate sign of a person suffering from said disorder can easily be seen through the abnormal changes in the skin and deformities in the bone structure.
Leading around 1.9 billion of the world’s Catholics, it has been said that Pope Francis is one who has shown deep compassion and empathy in treating everyone as his equal. The Washington Post was just one among the many news agencies who called his act of kissing the man “…worth a thousand words.”
The Book of Matthew shares with us the gospel of Jesus aiding the poor in health and spirit :
“When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” – Matthew 8:1-4, NIV
Apart from this beautiful manifestation of God’s love, the Vatican Church also announced today, November 18, 2013, that they would be donating $150,000 as relief aid to the victims who suffered from the devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda (otherwise known as Typhoon Haiyan.) The statement issued from the Church declares, “Following the Haiyan Typhoon… the Holy Father has decided to send a first contribution of 150,000 dollars to help the population,” It adds, “[the fund] will be distributed through the local Church in the areas worst hit by the tragedy” and will be “used to support aid operations for displaced people.” The typhoon has left around 3,000 people dead, 600,000 people displaced from their homes, and thousands of other Filipinos missing.
The Pope himself, standing from the third-floor of the papal palace, said, “I wish to reassure my closeness to the people of the Philippines and those of the region hit by a terrible typhoon. Unfortunately, there are so many victims and such massive damage. Let us silently pray to Our Lady for our brothers and sisters, and let us also send them actual help.” This is just another among the many actual manifestations of God’s love channelled through our Holy Father. The Vatican’s official relief agency, “Caritas Internationalis” paved way for a fund-raising project specifically aimed to help those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines.
Let us be thankful for our Pope Francis who, without a doubt, practices what he preaches.