Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos Attends Pope Francis' Mass

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TACLOBAN, Philippines — Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos raised eyebrows Saturday when she made an appearance at Pope Francis' Mass held in the typhoon-ravaged region, declaring that she loves the poor. Marcos, 85, was one of the thousands wearing yellow ponchos and enduring wind and rain to hear the pontiff deliver an emotional homily centering on the faith and resolve of the people there.

Marcos, who also represents the region in the Philippine House of Representatives, had to be pushed in a wheelchair as she made her way around the crowds. "The message of the Holy Father is about the poor, and I love the poor," she told reporters. The comment didn't go unnoticed. During her two-decade period as first lady, Imelda Marcos and her husband, late President Ferdinand Marcos, became famous for promoting a lavish lifestyle while the country suffered under poverty. Imelda Marcos herself amassed some 3,000 pairs of shoes. She moved to Tacloban from Manila as a child, and was allowed to return to the Philippines after a long exile in the United States following the overthrow of her husband.



— Claudio Lavanga