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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis meets with excited group of Spanish pilgrims

Pope Francis received the Archconfraternity of the Virgen del la Cinta de Tortosa from Spain at the Vatican. The institution has been involved in charity work for more than 400 years. 

The bishop of this diocese, Monsignor Enrique Benavent, was in charge of greeting Pope Francis on behalf of the group.

"This meeting is another sign of love the Blessed Virgin has had with us."

The pope gave them an affectionate speech in which he stressed the importance of living fraternity.

"You call yourselves brothers, a confraternity. In that way, you reveal the fundamental reality of your lives, that you are all sons of God. Etymologically, brotherhood means a 'union of brothers.' But it is not enough to say that you are brothers – you must always remember this 'foundational' unity marks you as such.

It was an intimate encounter the bishop of Tortosa summarized with these words.

Bishop of Tortosa, Spain
"Eighty-six people from the diocese came. No more were able to come. I think they all are excited about this audience with the pope. I saw tears in the eyes of people who came to greet the Holy Father."

As a gesture of gratitude, the members of this archconfraternity named Pope Francis a “brother of honor.”