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Priests ordained by Pope: He kissed our hand and we could not believe it

2014-06-02

The moment was truly unforgettable in more ways than once, for Eduardo Andres and Juan Pablo. They were two of 13 priests the Pope ordained at St. Peter's Square, a tradition that dates back to 1993.

JUAN PABLO FERNANDEZ
"I was very excited when the Pope finally kissed our hands. I was really excited. I thought that he would greet the cardinals that were waiting on the side. But he didn't. He went one by one, kissing our hands. I couldn't believe it.”

EDUARDO ANDRES CONTRERAS
"The first person that kisses your hand is either your mother or father. The fact that it was the Pope, the first to kiss your hand. It was too much.”

Upon learning that the Pope would ordain them bishops, the two young priests decided to write to him. At first they didn't hear back, but Eduardo Andres had the chance to speak with him during a General Audience.

EDUARDO ANDRES CONTRERAS
"When he greeted him, he recognized us. 'Oh yes, you are the deacons, the ones I will ordain. You wrote me a letter.' He remembered us.”

A few weeks before the ordination ceremony, they met with the Pope for a private audience. Despite their nervousness, it was unforgettable.

JUAN PABLO FERNANDEZ
"We showed up and he said: 'Well, ask me anything you want.' I imagined that he would arrive and tell us something... I don't know... maybe an admonition on priestly life, something of that sort. But nothing. 'Well, what do you want to ask me?' We were left cold, speechless. Until one of us said: 'Holiness, how are you?'”

By this time, Eduardo Andres and Juan Pablo had already celebrated their first Mass as priests, filled with the excitement of having shared several intimate moments with the Pope.


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