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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

To See The Pope

Here is a great story about a young boy who dreamed about meeting the pope.

Some boys want guns for Christmas, others want a dog or even a new baby brother, but what Joshua Nona wanted was to meet the pope, and on Christmas Eve his prayer came true.

The Valley Center boy and his family spent the holy night in Mass at the Vatican, by invitation of Pope Benedict XVI. It was a dream come true for the 9-year-old who, after turning 7, said he felt a calling to the priesthood. His father said Joshua would run off to seminary now if he could.

"We told him he has to wait until he finishes high school and he's dated a couple of times," Asher Nona said.

Prior to having Joshua, his father said the family didn't attend church, pray or read the Bible regularly. But the older Joshua got, he said, the more he hungered for Christian knowledge and practice.

Eventually, his father said, Joshua got his family attending church weekly at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Valley Center. His father was reading the Bible to him twice a day and the family prayed morning, noon and night, even in public restaurants. Now, Nona says, Joshua reads and explains the Bible to him.

"It isn't something we pushed on Joshua," Nona said. "He pushed it on us."

Last year, while watching the new pope take his place at the Vatican, Joshua turned to his father and asked him to take him to the birthplace of Jesus and to visit the pope.[source]

Joshua finally was able to meet the pope and it proved a very meaningful experience both for Joshua and his father.

As Pope Benedict walked by, Joshua said he reached out and touched him yelling, "Papa I love you, Papa I love you!" He said the pope turned to him and blessed him.

Now Joshua says he wants to be a pope.

It was also a big day for Nona, who said he fled his birthplace in Iraq to escape religious persecution.

"I was crying like a little kid ... but I didn't care," he said. "This whole ordeal was incredible. It will be a memorable experience for us as long as we live."

Pretty great story and it goes to show that Pope Benedict is continuing to make the kind of impressions that Pope John Paul II did upon all people - young and old.


Anonymous shana sfo said...

What a gorgeous story! Thank you for posting that, Father. I've had a rough day today and needed to hear something beautiful.

God bless that young man and his parents! Who knows, maybe he will become Pope one day?

1:19 PM  

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