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Rome Reports

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The Mexican Franciscan who was the Pope's interpreter on his trip to Cyprus and Greece

Pope Francis' trip to Cyprus and Greece was full of unforgettable moments, including his visit to Lesbos, his stop at the border dividing Cyprus and his meetings with Orthodox Christians. 

They were special moments in which Fr. Eduardo Masseo translated for the Pope from Greek to Spanish. 

This Mexican Franciscan witnessed every moment firsthand. It was an important task that he carried out as a service.

The best thing of all was the Pope's attitude. My greatest fear was not so much being with the Pope, because he was really very welcoming from the first moment, as if he had always known me. He is a person able to make you feel at home very quickly. But my greatest fear was, and I say this sincerely, making a mistake in the protocol, because I had to respect a protocol, because I had to respect a protocol that I did not know.

Fr. Eduardo Masseo studied Greek in Athens. He never imagined that it would be the reason for which he would be asked to be the Pope's interpreter on this trip.

For him, one of the most significant events was the Pope's visit to the Orthodox Archbishop of Athens, Ieronymous II...

I am happy to see you again. Thank you very much for...a place of unity among brothers. 

Another was the meeting with Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II and the Holy Synod of the Cypriot Orthodox Church.

It is a meeting which the history books cannot ignore. I truly feel unworthy of having participated in those historic moments and at the same time I feel so happy to have witnessed them firsthand.

During the trip, Fr. Eduardo shared personal experiences with Pope Francis, who invited him to drink tea together, and even called his sister on her birthday.

I am surprised by the simplicity, also of the prime minister, the president, of everyone, the archbishops, they used a very simple language, very fraternal, very close.

It was a unique experience for Fr. Eduardo, who had the opportunity to convey the Pope's message to the people of Greece and Cyprus.