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Pope Francis in Ecuador – Day 4, Bolivia – Day 1

Today, after having a private Mass in the morning at Quito’s Apostolic Nunciature, Pope Francis traveled a few miles outside of Quito to visit the Missionaries of Charity rest home for the elderly (summary video), and then at about 10:30 a.m. visited the National Marian shrine of El Quinche where he prayed (summary video) and spoke to seminarians, religious, priests, nuns, and monks gathered there, and setting aside his prepared remarks, he gave an off-the-cuff address (full text of given & prepared, other translation, summary video). I really really enjoyed this off-the-cuff address, it really showed so well what a good and faithful-to-God man that Pope Francis is. Of the Ecuadorian people, he said:

I also had the temptation... of asking: what’s the secret of this people? And I was thinking in my mind and prayed. And I asked Jesus several times in prayer: “What do these people have that is different?” And praying this morning it came to me: that consecration to the Sacred Heart. I think I should say it as a message from Jesus.

I’ve noticed it too, as I have followed Pope Francis’ journey in Ecuador, there is a vitality and a piety the people have there. I also see it a lot in their national president Rafael Correa, especially when him and Pope Francis talk together, he radiates vitality and joy. And Pope Francis has referred to them radiating a “consecration to the Sacred Heart.” He also said:

...return every day and pray: “Lord, today I did this, this was good, I had this difficulty, all this, but everything comes from you.” ....we are objects of gratuity of God. If we forget this, slowly we start feeling important.

Wow. I love Pope Francis!!!!!!! In another translation it reads, “I had this difficulty, but it all comes from you.” He goes on:

Some brotherly and fatherly advice: every night re-situate yourselves in this gratuity. And say: “Be it done to me, thank you because You gave me everything.”

I love Pope Francis! God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God.

He then traveled to the airport where President Correa saw him off as he departed for Bolivia (summary video).

And here’s a nice slideshow, a nice video montage of the Excuador visit, and a super good interview with President Correa regarding how Pope Francis’ visit went.

While in the air, he sent telegrams to the heads of state of the nations he flew over (full text).

Pope Francis standing with Bolivian President Evo Morales and children dressed in traditional clothing of Bolivia, after arriving at El Alto airport, Bolivia, July 8th, 2015.
Pope Francis standing with Bolivian President Evo Morales and children dressed in traditional clothing of Bolivia, after arriving at El Alto airport, Bolivia, July 8th, 2015.
Pope Francis dressed warmly in the evening at above 12,000 feet, and speaking with Archbishop of La Paz, Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero, on-board the popemobile, traveling to La Paz, Bolivia, July 8th, 2015.
Pope Francis dressed warmly in the evening at above 12,000 feet, and speaking with Archbishop of La Paz, Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero, on-board the popemobile, traveling to La Paz, Bolivia, July 8th, 2015.

He arrived at the El Alto airport at about 5 p.m., and was greeted by Bolivian President Evo Morales some other local dignitaries and some Bolivian bishops. Many people were gathered and both President Morales and Pope Francis also addressed them (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2).

On his way from the airport to the archbishop’s home, Pope Francis stopped at the place Spanish Jesuit Luis Espinal Camps was assassinated on March 21st, 1980. When he arrived, there was a gathering of people there whom he greeted, he prayed with them in silence, and then declared a blessing on Fr. Espinal and on those gathered there (summary video).

After visiting the archbishop’s home, Pope Francis then traveled to the national government’s headquarters. Upon his arrival, at about 7 p.m., he received some rather politically charged gifts from President Morales (full video of gift reception, summary video). One of the gifts was a hammer and sickle crucifix and Pope Francis was a bit uncomfortable receiving it, but later news stories revealed that it was actually a replica of one made by Fr. Espinal — whom Pope Francis a few minutes earlier had praised during his journey there. Yes, it was an easy mistake, to take it as an insult, but it was really, an important artifact of their history. Later, during the press conference Pope Francis held several days from now while on the way back from Paraguay to Rome, Pope Francis explained in more details the interaction.

After that, he walked to the nearby Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace where he met with government officials there and addressed them (full text, full video).

He then returned to the airport and flew to the Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. He arrived at about 10:30 p.m. and the local archbishop, Sergio Alfredo Gualberti Calandrina and some local authorities were there to greet him. He traveled then to the private residence of the Archbishop Emeritus, Card. Julio Terrazas Sandoval where he stayed the night.

And Fr. Lombardi gave a press conference to sum up the day. There’s also a good summary video of the day in Bolivia.

And today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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