The Three Wise Men of Juana Díaz ask Pope Francis to go to Puerto Rico
They were present in the audience inside Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, where they spoke briefly with the Catholic pontiff.
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The famous Puerto Rican Kings of Juana Diaz were present in the audience of Pope Francis inside Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, where they were able to talk briefly with the pontiff at the end of the ceremony, and asked him to visit Puerto Rico in 2024.
The characters said that when Pope Francis approached them, they greeted him and gave him the gifts they were carrying. They also briefly explained to the pontiff where they came from and what the festivities meant for Puerto Rico.
"He told us that he was very anxious, that he would like to come to Puerto Rico and that he has it on his agenda. It was a very beautiful experience," said Melchor.
Baltasar, told EFE that they had "the opportunity to exchange words in a very nice, very simple way" and that they were "extremely happy that once again the tradition of the Fiestas de los Reyes de Juana Díaz in this 139th edition shines in the whole world."
This is the second time the Three Kings of Juana Diaz were received by a pope. The first occasion was in 2004, when John Paul II was the leader of the Catholic Church.
"It was a very precious experience. This encounter was much more personal than the one in 2004 with Pope John Paul II. Obviously this is a Latin Pope and we communicated in Spanish. Although John Paul II spoke to us in Spanish at that time he was in poorer health. This year was very special because it was a conversation between Hispanic Catholics and we were able to explain all our tradition and give him the affection that Puerto Rico has for the Pope. We also congratulated him for Argentina's championship in the World Cup. It is an experience that we will never forget," said the Three Wise Men in a press release.
After the ceremony, the Three Wise Men visited St. Peter's Square, where they had the opportunity to meet with local families. On Dec. 30, they will return to their native Puerto Rico to bid farewell to the year and carry out the traditional National Caravan of the Three Wise Men, in which they will visit several municipalities between Jan. 2 and 5, 2023.