"The heir of the great Manuela": the words of Pope Francis upon receiving Almeida in the Vatican

Pope Francis received the highest representatives of Madrid politics at the Vatican this Saturday. A delegation led by the regional president, Isabel Diaz Ayuso and the mayor of Madrid, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeidahas held a half-hour audience with the Holy Pontiff on the occasion of the commemoration of the IV centenary of the canonization of San Isidropatron saint of Madrid.

During the visit, the Madrid representatives spoke with the Pope about the Spanish political context, male violence and the most vulnerable people. As a gift, they have given Bergoglio a facsimile on the miracles of San Isidro, several books published on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the canonization, a commemorative medal, a bottle of water from the San Isidro fountain and the signed shirts of Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Rayo Vallecano and Getafe.

However, the most outstanding anecdote of the meeting occurred in the moment of greeting between Pope Francis and Martínez-Almeida. After shaking hands with Isabel Díaz Ayuso, it was the turn of the mayor. After a bow from the mayor and while they shook hands, the Pontiff commented with a smile: “The heir of the great Manuela”in a clear reference to the previous councilor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena.

Pope Francis greets Martínez-Almeida as “the heir of the great Manuela”

Pope Francis made this comment while greeting the mayor and looking at Carlos Osoro, the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, who has also been part of the Madrid delegation. Almeida, smiling during the handshake, did not react to the Holy Father’s words about his predecessor.

After the appointment and in statements to the media, he considered “an honor” be received by the Pope. “As a Catholic, it is one of the most exciting moments I will have in my life”. Both he and the regional president were meeting the highest authority of the Catholic Church in person for the first time.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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