January 2015

Newly discovered plant named after the Pope

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Hedyotis papafranciscoi is named after Pope Francis. Photo courtesy of Grecebio Jonathan AlejandroNewly discovered plant named after the Pope
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UST’s Grecebio Jonathan Alejandro, director of Graduate Studies, along with his team, discovered three new species of the endemic Hedyotis, a genus of flowering plants, in the province of Antique.

Alejandro named one of the three new species Hedyotis papafranciscoi, in his paper titled "A new endemic species of Philippine Hedyotis L. (Rubiaceae) named after Pope Francis," to be published in the maiden issue of the UST Graduate School’s The Antoninus Journal.

Francis upholds birth control ban, tells couples to practice responsible parenthood

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In a press conference aboard the plane going back to Rome after a tumultuous five-day visit to the Philippines, Pope Francis clarified earlier remarks particularly during his meeting with families at the Mall of Asia Arena last Jan. 16. At the arena, the Holy Father upheld Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae against contraception, and spoke out against the destruction of the family by “ideological colonization” from the west.

Pope Francis touched by Filipino gestures

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Pope Francis touched by Filipino gesturesPope Francis touched by Filipino gestures
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Aboard a Philippine Airlines flight back to Rome after a record-breaking visit to the Philippines last Jan. 15 to 19, Pope Francis revealed how he was genuinely moved by Filipino gestures and affection.

“[The Filipino gestures] are not protocol gestures. They are good gestures, felt gestures, [and] gestures of the heart. Some almost make one weep. There’s everything there—faith, love, family, illusions, and future,” Pope Francis said during a 56-minute press conference.

Pope’s visit to the country a ‘miracle’— Tagle

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Pope Francis heads back to Rome after his 5-day visit in the Philippines. Photo by Basilio H. SepePope’s visit to the country a ‘miracle’— Tagle
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“This event is really an act of communion and solidarity. It is a miracle in itself,” he said. “All of us are overwhelmed right now with thanksgiving to God.”

Tagle also thanked everyone who made the papal visit to the Philippines a success, citing Church and government authorities, security and communications personnel, the media, and other sectors of society. “We were able to show the world that it is possible—communication, cooperation, collaboration—these are not just ideas, they can be put in to action.”

'Pope makes everyone feel special' - former UST rector

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“Seeing Pope Francis glancing at us even for a split second, makes us feel that God knows and sees us as though we are the most special person in the world,” former UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. said in his homily during Holy Mass before the Pontiff's arrival in the University. Photo by Lord Bien G. Lelay'Pope makes everyone feel special' - former UST rector
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“My brothers and sisters that is the Francis effect. He makes us feel that life will get easier and it will become better,” De la Rosa said before the waiting crowd at the UST Open Field.

De la Rosa said the Pope is welcomed everywhere he goes because of the hope, joy, gratitude and consolation, which he described as the “Francis effect.”

Luneta Papal Mass the ‘biggest gathering in the history of popes’

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Luneta Papal Mass the ‘biggest gathering in the history of popes’Luneta Papal Mass the ‘biggest gathering in the history of popes’
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“This is the number has been given by [the] assistant [of] the President to help the Vatican protocol. The official number that has been given to us is between six and seven. We are not able to number all these people obviously,” Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said on Sunday, citing figures released by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Francis calls on Filipinos to be 'missionaries of the faith'

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Francis calls on Filipinos to be 'missionaries of the faith'Francis calls on Filipinos to be 'missionaries of the faith'
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In his homily during the concluding Mass of his five-day apostolic visit at the Quirino Grandstand, Francis cited the importance of “protecting our families.”

“Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture,” he said.

“We need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets,” he added.

Why do children have to suffer? Francis stumped, moved

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Pope Francis stops to kiss a baby while on his way to the UST Grandstand. Photo by Alvin Joseph KasibanWhy do children have to suffer? Francis stumped, moved
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The question came from two former street children from Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation during the Pope’s “Encounter with the Youth” at the University of Santo Tomas, on the penultimate day of his historic apostolic journey to the Philippines.

“The heart of your question has no reply. Only when we too can cry about the things you said can we come close to answering that question,” Pope Francis said, after 14-year-old Jun Chura’s testimony on children’s sufferings.

Rain during Pope's visit to UST 'a blessing'

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Upon the Pope’s arrival on the grandstand, rain fell in the University which caused thousands of participants to bring out their raincoats for umbrellas were not allowed within the campus for security reasons.

Ervin Pineda, a student participant from the College of Accountancy, said the rain cannot waiver the joy and excitement he felt on the encounter with the Pope.

Pilgrims bring Sto. Niño images in UST, hope for Pope's blessing

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With the Feast of the Child Jesus coinciding with the Holy Father’s visit in the University, some lay faithful found an opportune time to have their Holy Child images be blessed by the Vicar of Christ himself.

The Supreme Pontiff’s holy blessing of the images of Sto. Niño on His feast day makes the images more valuable since it is he, the Pope, the leader of the largest Christian religion, who personally gives the benediction, said James Diaz, 17, a representative of the Youth For Christ (YFC) in Cavite.

7,000 Thomasians served as human barricade in UST papal visit

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PNP officers and volunteers were positioned behind metal barricades set up around the University last Jan. 10.

Ian Bautista, Central Student Council vice president, said the volunteers served as crowd managers, medics and ushers as well.

The Office for Student Affairs and the Office for Public Affairs headed the organization of the volunteers while local student councils led the recruitment that started last November.

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