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Rome Reports

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Pilgrims from the hometown of the first Spanish pope, St. Damasus

This colorful parish group traveled all the way from Spain to see the pope in the General Audience. They hail from a small town near Madrid, that carries a little-known but very important title: the birthplace of the first 'Spanish' pope. FR. ORLANDO MATEOS "We come from Villamanta, south of Madrid, where Pope Saint Damasus was born, in the ancient Mantua Carpetanorum, in the Diocese of Getafe.â? The group spent a week in Rome, and they got to see the sights, but the most important thing they take back with them is the pope's message.  FR. ORLANDO MATEOS  "The pope talked about the Gospel, the Crucifixion, St. Dismas who, as the Good Thief,  earns heaven, or like the pope says, he 'steals heaven'. He also said the Church is for the sinners. The Church is for everyone who admits to being a sinner but wants to reach God's grace through Jesus Christ. Great. We are a part of that group, so there is really nothing else.â? Father Orlando Mateos' parishioners are regular visitors to Rome. It is their second time in the Eternal City in just a few months.  FR. ORLANDO MATEOS "Now we came with the grown-ups, but in June we came with the boys and girls, after their confirmation. We come every year, we visit the tombs of the apostles, to present our confirmation in the faith, and to pray with them, and to be with the Holy Father.â? Father Orlando Mateos hopes that he can be here next year with a group as cheerful and energetic as this one.  "Hello Rome Reports!â?  AG AA -? PR Up:ag