MANILA, Philippines --- President Benigno S. Aquino III is sending Vice President Jejomar C. Binay to Rome as his representative in Pope Francis’ inaugural mass on Tuesday.
Binay will leave Monday for the Vatican to formally convey to the new Supreme Pontiff the greetings of the leader of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.
“It is a rare opportunity to witness the installation of a new Pope, and I am honored to represent President Noynoy and the Filipino people to attend Pope Francis’ inaugural mass,” Binay said in a statement.
The new leader of the Roman Catholic Church will be officially installed on March 19.
Heads of state are expected to attend Pope Francis’ inaugural mass.
Earlier, the Vice President praised Pope Francis’ compassion for the poor.
“He reminds us that serving our fellowmen is a duty not only of the Church, but of all Catholics. As he begins his Papacy, we pray that he will lead the Church with wisdom, humility, compassion and grace,” he said.
Binay had been to Vatican thrice and met the predecessor of Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, he said, had a special place in the hearts of Filipinos for his prayers and succor during the calamities that ravaged the Philippines.
“He lifted our spirits with the elevation of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod,” he said.