Pope's autograph leaves pilgrims with treasured souvenirs of their encounter
The Pope has been taking his time to sign pilgrims' books and photographs during his General Audiences.
Fr. Joby Jose was lucky enough to have the Pope sign his doctoral thesis. After studying in Rome for six years, it was his first close encounter with Pope Francis.
FR. JOBY JOSE
"Today is a special day for me because my joy is doubled. Because I've been doing my doctoral studies here in Rome for six years, and yesterday I successfully defended my thesis and my professors awarded me summa cum laude, and today it is recognized by Pope Francis. He signed my thesis so I am so happy today".
Now Fr. Jose will return to India with a prized memory from his time in Rome: the Pope's signature.
Domenico Lazzarotto even had the Pope sign the book he recently wrote, titled “If you have faith.” It's the story of his former parish priest and the challenges he overcame in keeping his community together in post-World War II Italy.
“He signed it for me. This here is the most important signature that I've ever received. Then he gave me a blessing which, even for someone who is not a strong believer, is always a good thing. Either way this encounter has transformed me, above all in a human sense but perhaps even spiritually.”
Domenico traveled to Rome from outside Venice specifically to see Pope Francis, who he says has been a personal inspiration to his faith life.
“This Pope captivates me even beyond a spiritual sense. He is a personality who has led me to personally rediscover a bit of faith.”
His book now includes a whole page dedicated to displaying the Pope's iconic signature: sure to grab any reader's attention.