6 Million People to Join, Attend Mass at Rizal Park - Live Updates


Pope Francis Updates - Over 6 Million people are expected to join and attend the mass at Luneta Rizal Park on January 18, 2015. Security tightens up as many people flocked into the are to attend the last mass of Pope Francis.

Some six million people are expected to attend Pope Francis' culminating Mass in Manila at Rizal Park on Sunday, January 18.

In 1995, St. John Paul II gathered five million people, which is considered the largest for the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Vatican officials said Pope Francis is expected to top this record.

Rizal Park covers an area of 6 million square feet or 560,000 square meters, which would mean one person per square foot.

Only 700,000 people will be allowed to enter the quadrangle in front of the Quirino grandstand, which will be divided into quadrants. Each quadrant will be surrounded with concrete barricades.

There will be passageways in between quadrants to allow Pope Francis to move around in an open vehicle before he goes up the stage to preside in the Eucharistic celebration.

Light showers are expected during the Mass but organizers discourage pilgrims from bringing umbrellas because of security reasons.

Vigils are banned hours before the event, as the park will start allowing people to go in at 6 a.m. Sunday.

The Philippine National Police said around 20,000 policemen will be stationed around Rizal Park to ensure the public's safety.

Pope Francis is expected to arrive at the park at 3:15 p.m.

He will be welcomed by a Sinulog dance as he goes around the area to meet the crowd.

Themed "Mass of Mercy and Compassion," the Mass will start at 3:30 p.m.

The Mass will be said in English and Filipino.

The Prayers for the Faithful will be in Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Ilokano, Cebuano, Waray and Bicolano, with English translations, which will be printed in an eight-page missalette to be distributed at the venue before the Mass begins.

Pilgrims are requested to bring an image of the Santo Nino during the Mass because Sunday is the feast of the Holy Child.
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