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155-pound Saint Bernard captures the attention of Rome pilgrims and the Pope

2016-05-22

When Pope Francis chose the name Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi, who would have thought he would also receive animals like the late saint did?

This is exactly what happened when owner Claudio Rossetti brought this dog to meet the Pope. However, Pope Francis didn't seem to mind spending time alongside the 155-pound puppy

CLAUDIO ROSSETTI
CEO, Barry Foundation
"He laughed at him and he said we have to come back and to bring the... normally they wear a bottle of whiskey. They use it during the rescue action.”

Magnum is one of 40 dogs the Barry Foundation uses to serve children, hospitals patients and the elderly. Just as Pope Francis has been practicing the works of Mercy especially during this Jubilee Year, these dogs work and are at the service of others. 

CLAUDIO ROSSETTI
CEO, Barry Foundation
"First of all, because of his name, Francis, he loves animals and so I think he loves dogs too and I think also because these dogs, they work with elderly people in homes. They have a social rule and I think this is important for the Pope.”

With the help of UNESCO, Magnum's visit was organized by Switzerland's Ambassador to request that the Great Saint Bernard Pass become a World Heritage Site.

The amount of attention that Magnum received throughout St. Peter's Square is sure to raise awareness of this cause. Strangers and reporters approached him from every angle, pet him and asked about what they were doing here. 

CLAUDIO ROSSETTI
CEO, Barry Foundation
"We are here to have a mass with Pope Francis to present our dog, of course, and to present our project of UNESCO, culture heritage in Switzerland, around the place where these dogs were born.”

Magnum was not used to all the publicity that comes with being a Barry Foundation representative. He struggled to stay alert with all the attention he received, and even fell asleep at the Pope's papal audience.   


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