Pope Francis responded to a letter from Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, telling her that his work is not easy, and requesting her prayers.
Fernández de Kirchner wrote the Pope on June 15, telling him that she had not use the model letter that had been prepared since “it seemed to be written as established by protocol of the 13th century.”
She also encouraged the Holy Father to continue to drink “mate,” a type of herbal tea common in some South American countries.
In the Holy Father’s response, he assured the president that he indeed continues to drink mate, as it is “more digestive than tea or coffee.”
He also told her he’d like to see the model letter prepared for her, just for a laugh.
“May the Lord reward your thoughtfulness for having written [your letter] yourself,” he said. “Of course I remain curious to see that model of letter that seemed of the 13th century, simply to maintain the ‘sense of humor.’”
President Fernández de Kirchner herself made the Pope’s letter public through her Twitter account: “I received a letter from Rome — well, in fact, from the Vatican. And who could it be from? From the Pope.”
The Holy Father also asked Fernández de Kirchner to pray for him because his “work is not at all easy,” and he asked to have his “affection and closeness” expressed “to all the Argentines, for whom I pray every day, so that they will seek the common good united and in concord.”
Here is a ZENIT translation of the letter:
To the Most Excellent Madam President of the Argentine Nation
Dr. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Vatican, June 25, 2013
Thank you for your letter of last June 15, on the occasion of the Day of the Pontiff. May the Lord reward your thoughtfulness for having written it yourself. Of course I remain curious to see that model of letter that seemed of the 13thcentury, simply to maintain the “sense of humor.”
Thank you, also, for the picture
Just as I promised you, I keep you, your children and your loved ones who have passed away present in my prayer.
<p>I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me: the work is not at all easy.
I continue to drink mate: it is always more digestive than tea or coffee.
I beg you to express my affection and closeness to all the Argentines, for whom I pray every day, so that they will seek the common good united and in concord.
May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin take care of you.