(Eagle News) — Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, visited for the first time on Friday, (February 17) the Roman Tre University, a public research university in Rome, Italy, where he met students who excitedly took the time to take various selfies with him and even briefly talked to one Filipino student who was handing him religious pamphlets and magazines of the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo).
Pope Francis, the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, gladly obliged to the selfies as he shook hands with the students, and also took the “Pasugo” (God’s Message) magazines handed to him by a Filipino student, Klein Mendiola, who is studying at the Roman Tre University.
That moment was even captured by news photographers in the Vatican and was featured in the article written about the Pope’s visit by La Repubblica, an Italian daily general-interest newspaper. (See: http://www.repubblica.it/vaticano/2017/02/17/news/papa_francesco_a_roma_tre_dialogo_con_gli_studenti_mancanza_lavoro_causa_suicidi_e_terrorismo_-158536513/)
The article said that in the first visit of the Argentine pontiff in Roman Tre University, a public university in the capital, the Pope told the students: “Apritevi a scambio di culture perché questo toglie le paure.” (Open yourselves to exchange of cultures because this takes away the fears.)
The Vatican Television Center or Centro Televisivo Vaticano (CTV), the official media of the Catholic Pope, also captured that moment when the Pope entertained and listened to Mendiola’s invitation for him to attend the evangelical mission of the Iglesia Ni Cristo that was to happen in the church’s local congregation in Rome, which is also the seat of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Pope upon learning that Mendiola was a Filipino, cracked a joke saying, “Voi Filippini siete mal educati, mi chiamate lolo Kiko.” (Translation: Kayong mga Pilipino ay maledukado, tinatawag niyo akong Lolo Kiko)
Mendiola invited the Catholic Pope to attend the “Missione Evangelica” (evangelical mission) of the Church of Christ which was to happen the following day, Saturday, February 18, 4 p.m., at the Church of Christ locale in Rome, Italy located at Nella Casa Di Adorazione Della Congregazione.
The INC evangelical mission is sponsored by the School for Ministers branch in Rome of the Church of Christ. The main school is located in Quezon City, Philippines where the main temple of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is located.
The Pope appeared to have been amused by Mendiola and even tousled his hair as he ended his brief conversation with the Filipino student who happened to be a member of the INC or the Church of the Christ. Mendiola is the District Director of the Christian Brotherhood International (CBI) in Southern Europe. CBI is the student organization of the INC.