The Pope is visibly moved after meeting a priest persecuted by 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.
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.
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!