Pope Cries With Brazilian Child Who Wants to Be a Priest

ʻAs of today, your vocation is set,ʼ Pope Francis tells little Nathan de Brito.

Pope Francis embraces Nathan de Brito during World Youth Day.
Pope Francis embraces Nathan de Brito during World Youth Day. (photo: Radio FM Cancao Nova)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Nathan de Brito brought Pope Francis to tears during one of his motorcades through the streets of Rio de Janeiro on July 26, when the boy broke past barriers to deliver an important message to the Holy Father.

“Your Holiness, I want to be a priest of Christ, a representative of Christ,” de Brito whispered into the ear of Pope Francis. De Brito, 9, had jumped hurdles and made his way to the popemobile wearing his Brazilian national soccer team jersey. The boy later told reporters about the emotional exchange, which was also captured on video.

“I am going to pray for you, but I ask you to pray for me,” Pope Francis told him.

“As of today, your vocation is set,” said the Pope, moved to tears and embracing de Brito.

Onlookers noticed that the boy did not want to leave the Holy Father. Only after several attempts did the Popeʼs security detail finally take de Brito off the popemobile.

Once on the street, de Brito walked next to the popemobile, waving to Francis and blowing him kisses. One of the security guards stopped to console the boy before bringing him back to his waiting family.