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New Custodian of the Holy Land

May 20, 2016. Friar Francesco Patton is the new Custodian of the Holy Land. He succeeds Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was in office for the last 12 years. Friar Francesco Patton is 52 years old from Vigo Meano (Italy). He graduated in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome and until now was the provincial minister of the Order of Friars Minor in Saint Vigilius of Trent.

What would you do to get a hug from Pope Francis?

2014-01-19

Neither the cold, or the distance could keep this family from traveling all the way from Argentina to St. Peter's Square. They made it a point to come bright and early to the Pope's general audience to catch a glimpse of their former archbishop. 

"Yeah, we came all the way from Buenos Aires in Argentina. It was a 13 hour flight to get here. We arrived two days ago and we're leaving tomorrow. So, we specifically came for this.” 

They were happy to see the Pope, but they were hoping for a little something extra. They wanted the Pope to greet their baby boy Gonzalo... and as luck would have it, he did... The boy's father says it was both exciting and unforgettable.

"I really wanted Pope Francis to kiss my son, but I didn't really know how to go about it. I tried to talk to the guards beforehand. They didn't seem too sure about the whole thing, but in the end, it happened.” 

They we're thinking of what they could do, to get the Pope to notice them. Then, they discovered the answer: wearing t-shirts of the Pope's favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo de Almagro

"The Argentinian soccer team was founded by a priest named Lorenzo Massa back in 1908 and now Pope Francis is a big fan. At the end of 2013, the team turned out to be number one. To celebrate the team's president came here to the Vatican with the trophy.”

Whether it was their t-shirts or just plain good luck, they'll never know for sure, but either way they can go back home, knowing that their mission was accomplished. 


AFP/KLH 
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