Vatican Corner 07-29-18

Pope Francis surprised the wedding guests and Brazilian Father Renato dos Santos the planned celebrant when Francis unexpectedly appeared at the wedding of Luca Schafer, a Swiss Guard, and Brazilian Letícia Vera, a former employee of the Vatican Museums on July 16, 2018. The wedding was held in the small ancient church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians located just behind St. Peter ’ s Basilica in the Vatican gardens. The bride and groom – to – be had sent Francis a request to attend their wedding but they did not have much hope. However, the couple got the word, and they were the only ones who knew that the Pope was going to preside over their wedding. Father Renato entered the church sacristy and was astounded to find a smiling Pope Francis waiting for him. “ Never in my life, never would I have thought of finding the Pope in a sacristy ”, he declared in an interview with Vatican News. The wedding guested wondered if it was truly Pope Francis. The Holy Father took charge and father Renato concelebrated the wedding. Pope Francis preached about three verbs that are needed for couples to experience the fullness of marriage: “ to begin, ” “to stop, ” and “ to resume the journey. ” Pope Francis has great love for the sacrament of marriage which helps start a family and which wants to put God at the center. This was not the first time Pope Francis celebrated a wedding at the Vatican. He presided over the marriage of 20 couples on September, 2014 in St. Peter ’ s Basilica and did the same for a deaf couple on July,2016 in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta – the guest house where he resides. That wedding was private and it was between Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska, the daughter of a Vatican employee. The couple have been active in the deaf community in Padova in northern Italy, including a version of Big Brother for the deaf.