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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.

Spanish bishops begin their 'ad limina' visit with the Pope

2014-02-25

Pope Francis met with some Spanish bishops in their 'ad limina' visit to the Vatican.

During the warm meeting, one of them gave the Pope some drawings done by kids at a Spanish parish.

"The drawings of the children are wonderful... They have a lot of imagination...”

"He said: 'It's the Pope, but it looks more like a flamenco dancer.'”

The Spanish bishops greeted the Pope one by one. Each of them had a special petition and carried several gifts. The bishop of Bilbao, Mario Iceta, brought the Pope a small piece of the symbolic Guernica tree, as well as a photo album and newspaper clips of the 1947 soccer match between Athletic Bilbao and the Pope's beloved San Lorenzo de Almagro. Pope Francis showed off his knowledge of Spain, where he studied for some time.

"Your Holiness, good morning. I'm bishop of La Rioja, in Logroño. Do you know it?”

"Just the wine.”

After the visit, the bishop of San Sebastian, Msgr. José Ignacio Munilla, talked about the warm atmosphere of the gathering.

MSGR. JOSÉ IGNACIO MUNILLA
Bishop of San Sebastián (Spain)
"It was a very straightforward conversation. He just said: 'It's wonderful to speak Spanish right from the beginning and don't waste time with translations.' Ten of us bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces were surrounding him, in a table. After praying together, we sat and he said: 'Well, the ball is in the court, who takes the first shot?' And then we just started talking. In two hours we talked many things.”

During the next few days, Pope Francis will meet with all 83 Spanish bishops, that are in Rome for their 'ad limina' visit.


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