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Out of the blue, pope invites 12 young people to lunch

“I still can’t believe what happened,” says one of them

<p>Picture: Catholic News Agency</p>

Picture: Catholic News Agency

  • Estafania Aguirre for Catholic News Agency
  • Brazil
  • July 28, 2013
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The twelve youths chosen to lunch with Pope Francis during World Youth Day said they were still in disbelief, adding that the encounter gave them a greater responsibility to serve the needy.

“I still can’t believe what happened,” said Marcelo Galiano, originally from Argentina’s Diocese of Paraná.

“I had already been working for the Church, but this gives me a bigger push to be more firm in my faith,” he said July 26.

Following a press conference in Copacabana, four of the twelve spoke with CNA.

Galiano, a therapist, works in Rio de Janeiro with those who have autism.

He said he never imagined he would be eating with the Pope.

“We have been so privileged,” he said. “What has changed in my life is that now I have more responsibility because he spoke with us with authority, as a pastor and as a father.”

Galiano said he liked the Pope’s “closeness,” describing him as “such a simple person” who “hasn’t put aside the things of everyday life.”

He stressed Pope Francis’ importance as Pope, “but one realizes that he still calls his friends and that he is still himself.”

“We spoke a bit about everything and when he gave us our gift at the end, a rosary, I gave him a big hug,” said Galiano.

The twelve youths ate with Pope Francis at the Archbishop of Rio’s residence. The six  men and six women were chosen by lot to represent World Youth Day pilgrims from each continent: Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Americas and Brazil.

Full Story: Youths feel 'greater responsibility' after lunch with Pope Francis 

Source: Catholic News Agency

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