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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Never say never

Pope Francis wrote a letter to a nine-year old boy who had invited him to take part in a pilgrimage to Loretto.  His response to the invitation was simple: Never say never.

Below is a translation of the article which appeared in the Italian online publication Il sussidiario.

Pope with a child
Photo - L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis never ceases to surprise: he is a Pontiff who continues to confirm himself sui generis.  This time, the Holy Father is the focus of our attention because of a letter he sent to a 9 year-old boy.  Bergoglio wrote to Andrea, a child who had received a pilgrimage as a gift from his mother for his First Communion.  The details were recounted in a letter which Pope Francis decided to answer.  His Holiness wrote: Dear Andrea, it was wonderful for me to receive you letter and to learn about the marvellous adventure you had with UNITALSI as part of their pilgrimage for children to Loretto.

Pope Francis writes a letter to a little boy
Bergoglio: On a pilgrimage with you? Never say never.

Before thanking him for the beautiful words and for extending the gratitude of the friends of Loretto, he revealed a particular detail: Someone even told me that before sending the letter, you read it to your friends and, when you asked whether they agreed that you should send it, they applauded enthusiastically!  Pope Francis then thanked Andrea for the photo of the group which he had sent: I could see that there were many of you, and that is beautiful!  Bergoglio then explained that he had prayed to the Madonna of Loretto every time he looked at the photo.  I send my heartfelt blessings to you, as well as to your parents, the volunteers, the priests and the UNITALSI organizers.  In his letter, Andrea had also invited the Pope to make a pilgrimage.  In response to the invitation, the Pope did not turn down the invitation, rather he left an opening: For me, it is the greatest joy to be with children ... never say never!  Who knows, Andrea may very well receive a wonderful surprise ...
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