Pope-mania Unfolds in Philippines Ahead of Francis' Visit
Pope Francis will visit the largely Catholic country on Thursday.
People are showing their spirit by preparing posters and decorations for the papal visit, but they've also gone a step beyond the normal reception Pope Francis usually receives.
Groups of young boys have been pictured wearing uniforms in the style of the pope's Swiss Guard, though with slight changes that only truly dedicated followers would recognize.
Others have been collecting as much memorabilia as they can to commemorate the visit, which comes as the final leg of his Asian tour after a visit to Sri Lanka.
According to the CIA Factbook, the Philippines is 82.9 percent Catholic, making it one of the most devout countries in the world.
It's no wonder then that t-shirts, key chains and even little Pope Francis dolls are selling fast.
The archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, will be the pope's official host during the visit and many see similarities between the two men as they are both known for their humble ways.
Francis gained supporters by shunning the luxuries of the office when he was elected in March 2013, and, according to the Associated Press, Tagle regularly rode the public bus when he was a bishop.
Tagle is also seen as something of a rising star in the Catholic community as Pope Benedict promoted him to archbishop in 2011 and cardinal in 2012. Francis has continued to show his faith in the 57-year-old.
Tagle was named one of three presidents of Pope Francis' cornerstone initiatives and is tasked with leading a two-year study on how the church can provide better care for families, the AP reported.
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