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A former ambassador to the Holy See gives the Pope a book about his time in Rome

2015-11-22

During the Pope's general audience on Wednesday, among thousands of people in the crowd, Pope Francis recognized one person in particular. For four years, he was the youngest ambassador to the Vatican: the Costa Rican Fernando Sánchez.

FERNANDO SÁNCHEZ
Rector, Catholic University of Costa Rica
"I greeted him and he remembered me, which made me very happy. I took the opportunity to give him my new book. It's called 'Between Two Popes: the Story of a Family at the Vatican.' It's a narrative about political and diplomatic moments but, above all else, the most powerful spiritual moments from when we lived here from 2010 to 2014". 

The former ambassador compiled anecdotes about his family and the Popes. There are stories about when his son gave flowers to Pope Benedict XVI, and he himself gifted Pope Francis a Costa Rica soccer jersey.


FERNANDO SÁNCHEZ
Rector, Catholic University of Costa Rica
"What attracts the most attention is narrative. If it was only stories about how diplomatic relations were developed, the book would be short. But the stories actually have to do with family, not just an ambassador. And that's what readers like most and also what drew the attention of the Holy Father.”


Sánchez is now the rector of the Catholic University of Costa Rica. He brought along letters from people who work with him, along with a jacket that his former students gave as a gift.

FERNANDO SÁNCHEZ
Rector, Catholic University of Costa Rica
"The jacket they gave him is a reversible. There are the colors of the university on one side and white on the other. I showed him the white part and he joked that he can wear it that way.”


The rector will return home with new responsibilities. He's already been named vice president of a group of Catholic universities in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. And he'll bring plenty of new ideas with him: he had just participated in a meeting organized by the Vatican for Catholic schools and universities. He says that he learned more about how to interpret and apply what Pope Francis wants for those schools.


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