VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis will host a luncheon for survivors of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan during his Jan. 12-19 visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines that confirms Asia as a priority of his pontificate.
The Vatican on Friday released the itinerary for the pope's second trip to Asia following his August pilgrimage to South Korea.
Francis first flies to Colombo, where he will canonize Sri Lanka's first saint, the Rev. Giuseppe Baz, a 17th-century missionary credited with reviving the Catholic faith in the country.
Francis arrives in Manila Jan. 15 and two days later flies to the central city of Tacloban, hardest hit by the Nov. 8, 2013 typhoon which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing. There he will celebrate Mass, host a luncheon and meet survivors.