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Rome Reports

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Spanish family celebrates their Christmas tradition with Pope Francis

This family from Mallorca, in Spain, has a very special family tradition. As the year closes, they travel to different parts of the world to celebrate Christmas. This time they have chosen to start 2019 attending Pope Francis' first General Audience.

"It is the second year that we have joined two families, with all our children, to live the end of the year with Christ. It is not to be something pagan, but a beginning of the year with the Lord. It's an initiative we started last year and wanted to repeat because it's very rewarding."

Three of the family members were able to shake hands with the pope. Even one of them even spoke to him about his vocation.

"I am very happy to have been able to shake hands with the Holy Father. I told him that I pray a lot for him and asked him to pray for us too. It was a very nice moment and I am very happy. I told him that I am a seminarian and he smiled at me. I feel very happy and blessed."

"The pope spoke about prayer. It has to be a personal thing. It was very nice."

They are coordinators of a Catholic group that organizes retreats for young people every year. It is called "Effetá." It is a word in Aramaic that means “to open the heart to God.”

"They are Catholic spiritual retreats that are held twice a year. Now in February we will have the third in Mallorca and we also came to ask for fruits for the retreat."

It's another year they have fulfilled this family tradition of celebrating Christmas in an authentic way in a different part of the world. They are already thinking about their next destination for 2019, although these days in Rome with the pope have raised the bar very high.