Embracing Destiny

Nathan’s Journey from Pope’s embrace to Seminary Vows

The young boy aged 9 years, who had, in 2013, managed to get past the crowd control barrier at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro to give a warm hug to Pope Francis is now a seminarian preparing for the priesthood.

Whilst hugging Pope Francis he told him he wanted to be a priest. 10 years later, at age 19 de Brito is in the preparatory seminary of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. For de Brito, “remembering that encounter is to always rekindle the flame of vocation.”

At age 7, Nathan he told his father that he wanted to be a priest and by time nurtured a deep affection for the Church and a strong desire to pursue priesthood. “I always emphasize that my calling is to strive for holiness. We are all called to holiness, and each person has a unique vocation. For me, I understand that my vocation lies in the priesthood, so I wholeheartedly embraced this calling.”

Nathan de Brito, as a young boy hugging Pope Francis and 10 years later as a seminarian

When Pope Francis arrived in Brazil in 2013, he said he saw a pontiff “very close to us.”

“At that moment of meeting the pope, I could feel God’s enormous affection for me, saying, ‘My son, I love you,’ in the arms of the one who welcomes us like a father. I had this very great experience of being welcomed by the pope and that he received what I told him. He simply told me: ‘Pray for me and I will pray for you,’” he said. Nathan claims that even if we have the obligation to care for our vocation, knowing that a person so special prays for us is something very special.”

In early 2020, de Brito joined the Order of Friars Minor as an aspirant. He was a member of the congregation until the end of last year, when he asked to be transferred to the seminary of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande.

“It’s my duty as a person called to the priesthood to keep that flame burning, if that is God’s will. But those sparks that help us maintain our vocation, like the meeting with Pope Francis, are always very pleasant, very happy to remember,” he concluded.

This story was first published by ACI Digital, Catholic News Agency

Missio Malta supports the formation of seminarians around the world. Your support will not only help the education of seminarians but also the many communities they help when they become priests. You can read further here

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