Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 / 20:54 pm
Pope Francis' departure from the Philippines prompted gratitude from leading bishops who encouraged Filipinos to reflect on the Pope's message and to use discernment in responding to modern life.
"The Pope is a Pope of surprises, but God also surprised him," Bishop Mylo Vergara of San Jose said at a press conference following Pope Francis' departure from the Philippines.
The bishop praised Pope Francis' "spontaneity" and his appearance as someone who is "one with us."
"That was his intention, even before coming here. He wanted to be one with us, in mercy and compassion," the bishop said.