The Three Wise Men of Juana Díaz fulfilled one of their most cherished goals this morning: to greet and talk with Pope Francis. As planned, after the general audience held in Vatican City, the pontiff met with various guests of the activity, including Puerto Ricans.
As they had made known days before, during the meeting the Three Wise Men were going to make two requests to the Pope: that he include the island in his schedule of visits to the West and that he appoint a cardinal for the town. Catholic Church.
During the trip to Rome, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar were accompanied by the mayoress of Juana Díaz, Ramon Hernandez Torres.and a delegation of 66 people.
It was also known that they gave Pope Francis three works by Puerto Rican artists: an acrylic painting on canvas entitled “Three Wise Men of Borikén”, by the painter Edward “Moyo” Cruz, an oil portrait of Pope Francis by the artist Felipe Rivera and some Three Wise Men carved in cedar by the artist Adrián Rodríguez.
“When the Pope approached us, we greeted him, we each gave him our gifts, we explained who we were, what city we were from, and we explained that our Three Kings Day celebration was 139 years old”king explained melchior. “He asked us to go for a walk around the Vatican, around the city. We were the group that talked to him the most. We made the two requests that we came to make: that he visit Puerto Rico in 2024 on the occasion of the celebration of the Puerto Rican Catholic Church, the American Missionary Congress (CAM 6), where we are going to be the headquarters of this great Catholic activity in level of all Latin America and that a cardinal will name us”.
Pope Francis did not hesitate to respond to the requests of the Magi. “He told us that he was very anxious, that he would like to come to Puerto Rico and that he has it on his agenda. About the cardinal he told us that he will think about it. So we have hope,” added Melchor.
This is the second time that the Three Kings of the East Juana Diaz they are received by a pope. The first occasion was in 2004, when John Paul II was the leader of the Church at the time, it was reported in a press release. “It was a very precious experience. This meeting was much more personal than the one in 2004 with Pope John Paul II. Obviously this is a Latin Pope and we communicate in Spanish. Although John Paul II spoke to us in Spanish at that time he was in more delicate health. This year was very special because it was a discussion among Hispanic Catholics and we were able to explain all our tradition and convey the affection that Puerto Rico has for the Pope. We also congratulate him on the Argentine championship in the Soccer World Cup. It is an experience we will never forget.”
Once the religious meeting is over, at the request of Pope Francis, The Kings visited the Plaza San Pedro where for two hours they were sharing with countless people and families who took photos with them.
Once their agenda in the Vatican and in Italy is finished, the Three Wise Men will visit Spain to make a presentation, on December 29, in the parish of San Esteban Protomártir, in Madrid.
Back in Puerto Rico, they will continue with their traditional caravan, in which they will visit different municipalities, between January 2 and 5. On Three Kings Day, starting at 10:00 a.m., the 139th edition of the traditional Three Kings Festival will take place. begins in Juana Diaz.