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Rome Reports

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Pope Paul VI watched arrival Apollo 11's on the moon and sent a message

Pope Paul VI visited the Vatican Astronomical Observatory to follow the arrival of the first man on the moon. 

There, he observed the moon with the the space telescope and followed the landing on television.

Afterward, he sent a greeting praising the work of those involved in this project. 

Very few know, but the astronauts of Apollo 11 left on the moon messages from heads of states. On behalf of Pope Paul VI they brought Psalm 8: 

“When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place— What is man that you are mindful of him, and a son of man that you care for him?” 

Ever since, popes and astronauts have often been in contact with each other. 

Benedict XVI connected in 2011 with the International Space Station, and had fun seeing the effects of no gravity.  

Additionally, Pope Francis had a similar encounter in 2017. 

A few months later, he met them at the Vatican. The astronauts brought him a surprise gift: an authentic and personalized space suit.

“We have decided that to begin with, as you are what you wear, to make you one like ours ...”

“Ah okay! And you plan the trip for me...”

It is a story that all began one night in Castel Gandolfo, when the pope wanted to watch the arrival of the first man on the moon.