Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
Aleteia logo
Church
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Living Martyr of Albania Again Honored by Pope Francis

VATICAN-POPE-TIRANA

AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz - published on 05/06/16

The Pope is visibly moved after meeting a priest persecuted by the Communist regime

Pope Francis has again kissed the hands of Father Ernest Simoni, the Albanian priest who spent 28 years in prison for being faithful to the Church during the Communist regime.

The visibly moved Bishop of Rome met the priest some days ago, after the general audience of April 20, in St. Peter’s Square.

“This is an Albanian martyr,” the Pope said when he saw him.

The Pope has met this priest before. And once again, he pressed his forehead to the forehead of the living martyr.

web-audience-ernest-simoni-vatican-2016-facebook-paoline
via Paolin Facebook (ES)

They first met on Nov. 21, 2014, in Tirana; the Holy Father cried when Fr. Simoni gave his testimony about the torture he suffered for refusing to deny Christ.

“The Pope immediately remembered Father Ernest,” Italian author Mimmo Muolo of Avvenire told Aleteia. “He addressed him with his last name, ‘Simoni!’ and indicated that he remembered the story of his persecution, recounted in the cathedral of Tirana in 2014.”

Muolo is the author of “Don Ernest Simoni: Dai lavori forzati all’incontro con Francesco” (Father Ernest Simoni: From persecution to a meeting with Francis, San Paoline, 2016).

“Obviously, Fr. Ernest did everything he could so that the Holy Father wouldn’t kiss his hands, at the same time, trying to kiss those of the Pope,” Muolo remarked.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Tags:
Saints
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.