Pope Francis (File photo)

MANILA – Pope Francis has extended his congratulations to President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. ahead of his inauguration.

"I send my congratulations and cordial wishes to Your Excellency as you begin your mandate as the President of the Republic," Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles John Brown said, quoting an excerpt of the pontiff's message, in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas on Wednesday.

The Holy Father also said he will continue to pray for the new leader of the Philippines.

"In assuring you of my prayers that you will be sustained in wisdom and strength, I invoke Almighty God's blessings of peace and prosperity upon the nation," the Pope said.

On June 10, Brown met with Marcos Jr. where they discussed efforts to strengthen ties between the church and the government.

The Philippines is home to over 85 million Catholics, comprising more than 80 percent of the country's population.

Garnering over 31 million votes in the May 9 polls, Marcos will take his oath as the country's 17th Chief Executive at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila on Thursday. (PNA)