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Among the galaxies

· A conversation with Fr Funes on his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican Observatory ·

The last time that José Gabriel Funes and Jorge Mario Bergoglio met was in Argentina. One was a student in the faculty of astronomy, and the other was a Jesuit rector who gained the confidence of this young student who was eager to join the Society.

They met Sunday, 14 July: the first Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, and the first Jesuit to ascend to the throne of Peter. Fr Funes' excitement was therefore understandable as he welcomed Pope Francis who wanted to finish the day at Castel Gandolfo by having lunch with the brothers of the Observatory.

In an interview with our newspaper, Fr Funes says that the Pope showed interest in a series of meteorite fragments that fell from space, and he recalled the devotion with which Pope Francis kissed the crucifix that was on the desk in the Observatory's study. “It was”, he said, “the crucifix that every Jesuit receives at the time of his ordination”.

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