Pope final mass Philippines
Catholic faithful pray during an open-air Mass led by Pope Francis at Rizal Park in Manila January 18, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Update as of 06:20 EST: A Manila official has stated that a record six million people attended a mass in the city held by Pope Francis Sunday.

"We have it at six million," Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino said, when asked for the crowd size, according to AFP.

If confirmed, the crowd would surpass the record of 5 million mass attendees set by Pope John Paul II. Some correspondents had speculated that bad weather may have reduced the number of people who came to the event.

Original story below

Millions have gathered in the Philippine capital, Manila, to watch Pope Francis celebrate mass, on the final day of his tour of the country. Organizers expressed hopes that up to six million may attend the event, surpassing the record for 5 million attendees set by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

Francis dedicated his service to the young, urging the crowd to protect children, so that they do not end up destitute, or on the streets. "We need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to a life on the streets," he said, according to the Associated Press.

The mass will also, in part, be dedicated to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed at least 6,300 people, left a million homeless and displaced four million when it ravaged parts of the country in 2013, Reuters reports.

BBC correspondent Caroline Wyatt, reporting from the scene, said: “The atmosphere has been electrifying, despite heavy rain that may have diminished the expected numbers. … Pope Francis' visit has been seen here as a resounding success. There's been enormous enthusiasm for the Pope and the themes he's focused on -- helping the poor, the importance of the family, and protecting the environment.”

One woman was killed by falling scaffolding earlier in the day, and several people were reportedly injured in a small stampede, as they rushed to enter the park where the mass is being held. The Philippines has launched the largest security operation in its history, deploying 50,000 police and soldiers, Reuters reported.

Well-wishers danced and cheered as Francis arrived for the mass, while the Pontiff waved to the crowd, kissed babies that were hoisted up to him and tried to shake the outstretched hands of those in attendance, CNN reported.

On Saturday, Francis has been forced to cut short a visit to the city of Tacloban, which was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan, as a fierce storm threatened the area.

"I apologize to all of you," Francis said in Italian to the crowd via a translator. "I am sad about this, truly saddened."