Pope John Paul II’s 1981 visit to Iloilo

Pope John Paul II’s 1981 visit to Iloilo

May 08, 2014 01:30 AM

By: Atty. Rex S. Salvilla

Iloilo was among the few cities in the world that a Pope has gone to for the last 2,000 years since the time of the first Pope, St. Peter.

On February 1981, Pope John Paul II made a historical visit to Iloilo escorted by Cardinal Jaime L. Sin.


Upon landing at the Mandurriao Airport aboard papal plane “Il Papa” in the afternoon of February 11, the Pope was welcomed by the faithful of Panay led by Archbishop Artemio Casas of Jaro, Archbishop Antonio Frondosa of Capiz, Bishop Juan Nilmar of Aklan, Bishop Cornelius de Wit of Antique and Bishop Alberto Piamonte of Jaro.

As the Pontiff stepped out of the plane and kissed Iloilo soil, church bells all over the city pealed and people began to recite the Holy Rosary led thru the radio.

Riding on the pope mobile, Pope John Paul II passed Molo, City Proper, La Paz and Jaro greeted by thousands with streamers with his motto “Totus tuus” (All Yours).

Along the way the Pontiff blessed people praying, waving the white-yellow papal flags and lighting candles.

At Jaro Cathedral, his message was: “I have come to Iloilo City to tell you of my love in Jesus Christ.” He crowned the Candelaria image and led the faithful in singing religious songs. The next morning he left at day break.

The next year (April 21, 1982) proclaimed her, Patroness of West Visayas in his Quod urbis.


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