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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis baptizes a waste picker's son at the Vatican

Pope Francis recently fulfilled a promise that dates back to his time in Buenos Aires. He baptized the son of his friend Sergio, who is a humble waste picker in Argentina's capital.  

SERGIO SANCHEZ
President, Argentine Federation of Waste Pickers and Recyclers  

"It's a great honor for waste pickers, but I'm the most proud of all. To be there, for him to baptize our son, it is a great joy."

JACQUELINE
Mother

"This is the first time I've come to Rome, the first time I've seen the Pope in person. It was immensely emotional. I cried from joy. He baptized my son. I felt so happy that I didn't have words."

The moment was a long time in the making. The Pope tried to baptize the child during his visit to Bolivia, but the intense schedule didn't allow it. Instead, they met at the Vatican just recently.  

Sergio and Jacqueline took a low cost flight to Rome from Argentina, traveling for more than 27 hours. They were only able to afford the trip because of personal donations and the charity of nuns at the St. Cecilia Convent.  

The two aren't married, but Pope Francis was still happy to baptize their child. Sergio and the Pope have a long history. When the Pope was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was a major supporter of workers' rights, particularly those with little power, such as the waste pickers.