Friday, October 25, 2013

The incredible story of Pope Francis and a young Seventh-day Adventist

Pope Francis leans on shoulder of 16-year-old Seventh-Day Adventist at Ecumenical gathering

It happened on June 29, 2006, at Luna Park Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The then Cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, participating at an ecumenical meeting with Protestants, when they took this picture. It is shown resting his head while is embraced by Juan Francisco Taborda, a young seventh-day adventist praying into Bergoglio's ear.

The above photo was taken by Enrique Cangas, a photographer who is currently presenting 25 images of Pope Francis taken between 2003 and 2012, at an exhibit entitled "Francis: Servant to Buenos Aires, Servant to the World."

The correspondent of the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Alver Metalli, "I was particularly struck by the photograph in which Jorge Bergoglio sees with his head resting on the shoulder of a young man who is praying and wanted to find out who this person was."

The photograph was taken by Cangas (pictured below, with Juan Francisco Taborda  in front of his shows) on June 29, 2006 during an ecumenical meeting in the Luna Park Stadium in Buenos Aires ...

It was one of many prayer meetings between evangelicals and Catholics who regularly participated Bergoglio, first as bishop and later as archbishop and cardinal. On that day, 7,000 people had gathered to pray together in the traditional Buenos Aires stadium.

The caption of the photo that caught the attention of Metalli says: "The tenderness ... denotes strength of mind and capacity for compassion."

"But behind the snapshot is a very original story that we have tried to reconstruct in detail," says Italian journalist.

His research showed that: the photograph young is Juan Francisco Taborda, is 22 and was 16 at the time. Born in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, lives with his father, now retired, and his mother in the neighborhood of Los Polvorines, municipality of Malvinas Argentinas. It belongs to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and had attended the meeting at Luna Park invited by two friends. At the time I was finishing high school.

After graduation, got a scholarship, it had at first planned to use to study theology at the River Plate Adventist University (Universidad Adventista del Plata. Entre Rios, Argentina) and wanted to become a pastor. Then she changed her mind and enrolled at the Buenos Aires University (UBA), where he studied History. And to finance their studies, is in a building substitute doorman.

What is striking about the story is that, after that day Bergoglio rested his head on his shoulder, Juan Francisco Taborda was reunited with him twice without recognizing it as that same priest prayed beside which that encounter.

The second meeting took place in early 2008, while he was in goal Botanic Towers building on Buenos Aires. "I had just started my turn," Taborda told La Stampa, "at 21, when five minutes later my sister called me to tell me how he had gone an operation to a cousin of mine whom I love. Was in goal, very sad, worried by the news he had received. I saw enter a priest who goes to the elevator. He also sees me, upset note, and we started talking again. He stood there for a while to give me encouragement. did not recognize him, I saw no the priest that he had embraced at Luna Park Stadium. Said I would pray for me, my cousin, and asked me the phone number. sent me great peace, is what I remember. Peace and energy report feeling Adventists when they pray together with him I felt them at the time. A week later, to my surprise, actually called me, he remembered my name and asked me news of my cousin."

There was a third meeting between the two, a year later, in April 2009, at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires.

This time, Taborda was doing research on religious syncretism and went to the Cathedral to inventory the iconography of the place. "At one point, I about that priest again. He remembered me, my cousin, I asked for it, and then when I told him why I was there, guiding me in the cathedral, giving me the information that needed. "

As the vast majority of Argentinians, Taborda welcome the choice of Bergoglio like new maximum leader of the Catholic community. Four days later, someone came with a picture of Enrique Cangas on Facebook . "When I saw the picture I gasped ," he said. "It was then realized that the priest, now the Pope, who had comforted and guided first by the Cathedral and then was the same that had been adopted at the meeting of Luna Park. "It was only then that he realized that the priest, now Pope, who had comforted and guided first by the Cathedral then was the same as it had embraced in the meeting of Luna Park."

Now, Taborda remember that day, Bergoglio had asked him to pray for both: "I did not want to be him who pray, and asked me to do it myself, and I uttered an invocation to the Lord accompany us and we shew the way ... "

Compilation & research: Taato│Ojo Adventista
► Below you will find several links to this story, all in Spanish and Italian but translated to English by Google Translate.

• La tenerezza di FrancescoVatican Insider • La Stampa
• The tenderness of FrancisVatican Insider • La Stampa 
 La historia detrás de una conmovedora foto de Jorge BergoglioInfoBAE
• The story behind a poignant photo of Jorge BergoglioInfobae
• Una foto que resume la ternura del PapaRadio Maria • Argentina
• A photo that summarizes the tenderness of the Pope Radio Maria • Argentina

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