Fiat Festival 2019, A Night of EncounterJanuary 24, 2019
Statue of Our Lady of Fatima arrives to PanamaJanuary 25, 2019
The fantastic meeting between little Sebastian and Pope Francis
Precisely on March 13th, 2013, the day Pope Francis assumed the position of Supreme Pontiff, Marina Juanes cried with great emotion. Argentinian by birth but a resident of Panama for more than 17 years, Marina cried not only because her fellow countryman, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became the new leader of the Catholic Church, but also because on that same day she confirmed her third pregnancy, after two previous miscarriages.
With the hope and faith that those two great and joyful events on the same day were not a coincidence, and as she watched the inauguration of the new pope, she entrusted the protection and health of her third pregnancy to him, in order to be a mother for the first time. A few months later, on September 18th to be exact, little Sebastian Garcia Juanes was born in perfect health and in Panama City.
As Sebastian grew, the similarities and spiritual closeness with the Pope increased. Another surprise was when they realized that Panama would be the site for World Youth Day in 2019. “When we found out, we could not believe it; there were so many aspects that linked us to the Supreme Pontiff and now another one: he was coming to Panama and we would be able to see him. That was when we thought that Sebastian should at least go to the WYD activities, and if we were lucky, he could even bless him.”
“Sebastian, my husband, and I are fans of the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team, another coincidence because it is also the Holy Father’s team. Therefore, we dressed Sebastian with the jersey of San Lorenzo and when the pope arrived to Panama, we tried to get close to him at the San Fernando Hospital, but it was impossible,” Marina says.
“This Thursday, still with the firm hope that Sebastian could see the pope, We got up very early and went to San Francisco de Asis Church which was the pope's first visit of the day. With San Lorenzo’s team jersey, Sebastian, just five years old, slipped between the crowd, ran towards the Pope, and gave him a jersey of our team. The Pope gave him a beautiful rosary in exchange. It has been one of the most beautiful days of my life because in my opinion, I felt this bond between Sebastian and Pope Francis since March 13th, 2013.”