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Tuesday 20 April |

A Priceless Gift for the Pope: a Shoe Shine

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/12/16

From AP, on board the plane to Cuba with the pope:

Popes always receive gifts on their foreign visits, and Francis is no different, getting a sombrero, some chocolate chip cookies and a single white rose, which has significance for him. But Noel Diaz’s gift as the pope was flying to Cuba and Mexico was particularly heartfelt.

Diaz runs a Catholic TV station in Los Angeles that covers migration issues closely. He told the pope that as a child growing up poor in Tijuana, his single mother didn’t have enough money to buy him a new outfit when he made his First Communion. So at age 7, Diaz started shining shoes on the streets of Tijuana to earn enough to buy a new shirt and pants.

On Friday, Diaz gave Francis a custom-made shoeshine kit, “in memory of all those who work hard every day … those who get up in the morning and do anything to put bread on the table,” Diaz said.

And then he bent down and shined Francis’ shoe.

Francis inscribed a book Diaz had brought: “Thank you for your example. And please pray for me.”

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