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‘Pope Francis, we love you’: Papal Visit thrills UAE expats

by | EDITOR’S CHOICE, News, TOP STORIES

Feb. 03, 19 | 6:03 am

WAM: As the UAE prepares for the historic visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, thousands of Catholics residents in the UAE do not want miss out the Holy Mass.

Fifty four years after the first Catholic church was built in the UAE, the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi is ready to welcome more than 135,000 people from the UAE and overseas to attend the Holy Mass on Tuesday 5th February, a milestone event that both promotes the values of tolerance and co-existence and also signifies the depth of relations between the UAE and the Vatican.

Hundreds of people turned up at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi and queued to receive their tickets for the Holy Mass. Several spoke to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, about their excitement to see the Pope, while others described it as a moment of “privilege”.

Filipino expat in the UAE happily received her ticket to the Papal Mass on Feb. 5 (Photo Credit: WAM)

“Even though it is a long queue to get the tickets, we are very excited about it It’s a big blessing,” said Daniel Guillory from the U.S.

Clarivin Guillory added, “I saw Pope John Paul II in the Philippines in 1981. It is a privilege to see Pope Francis this time.”

The Papal Mass is the Solemn Pontifical High Mass celebrated by the Pope, and for many of the estimated one-million Catholics living in the UAE, attending the mass is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Joyce, a Filipina, is one of them.

“I finally got the ticket and I feel excited and blessed as I am going to see the Pope for the first time,” she said.

Indian citizens Sebastian Thornton and Cerilla Sebastian were also among the queue, and expressed their thanks for this “brilliant” opportunity to start the ‘Year of Tolerance’.

Photo credit: WAM

“We are extremely grateful to the leadership and government of the UAE. What a brilliant way to begin the Year of Tolerance in the UAE with the visit of the Pope,” they said.

“We have more than 200 nationalities living in this country and everybody is co-existing in peace and harmony.”

It will be the first-ever visit by a Catholic Pope to the Arabian peninsula.

Commenting on that, Charles Pintu, also from India, said, “It is an honor to have the Pope visiting this country, this region, in Abu Dhabi. I thank all who made this possible. I hope his visit will be a success.”

Also very happy to get the opportunity to see the Pope, May Joy, a young Lebanese girl, said, “I love him so such and my only question to him: Do you love us as much as we love you?”

St. Joseph’s Cathedral’s preparation for the Papal Visit gets underway (Photo credit: WAM)

The same joy was expressed by Anthony, a young Lebanese-Canadian who sent a message to the Pope saying, “I’m very excited because the Pope is coming to the UAE, and we love him, we all do.”

Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb will visit the UAE from 3rd-5th February. They will both be received officially on 4thFebruary by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Pope’s visit will take place under the theme ‘Make me a Channel of Your Peace’, which is seen as an invitation for peaceful dialogue and cooperation.

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Observatory experts say Shawwal crescent moon might not show today

Observatory experts say Shawwal crescent moon might not show today

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Pakistan plane crashes with 107 on board

Pakistan plane crashes with 107 on board

An aircraft from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members crashed at a residential area in Karachi on Friday, May 22. Pakistan immediately mobilized paramilitary troops and civil administration authorities to aid and rescue...

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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