“Would you like to go to confession with the Pope?” “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, without thinking, I said yes.” At that moment, a classmate of mine was passing by. I grabbed her by the arm and said: “We are going to go to confession with the Pope.” “And there we were, the two of us, trembling with nerves. We weren’t aware of what was really going to happen,” said Ana to ZENIT, talking about this unforgettable experience she had in Saint Peter’s Square, during the Jubilee of Adolescents on April 23.
Pilar and Ana are 4th year students at the Everest School of Monteclaro, Madrid. Every year, “before their Confirmation,” the school makes a trip to Rome with the whole class, “to prepare themselves for the Sacrament,” explained Pilar. This year’s trip coincided with the Jubilee of Adolescents. “I would never have imagined that I would speak personally with the Pope, or even see him up close, but God gave me that gift,” added the young girl.
Pilar recalled that the wait seemed like an eternity. “My hands were shaking and I couldn’t concentrate to make my examination of conscience. Finally my turn came. I greeted Pope Francis shaking his hand, and sat down beside him. At first, I was unable to speak. I just looked at him without knowing what to say, amazed, not able to believe what was happening. As he realized that I couldn’t articulate a word, he began to ask me questions, and to tell me a bit about his life, to calm me down.”
Then Pilar added, “it wasn’t at all what I expected, but infinitely better.” The Holy Father Francis “is a super close person, you don’t at all feel that you are talking with the Pope, because he speaks to you like a father, as if he knows you thoroughly,” she said. “During my confession I heard nothing but his voice. I felt at ease, in peace and … after a while, calm. I felt as if I were in heaven, safe, protected, happy and as if nothing bad could happen to me. I could tell that it was my heavenly Father that was speaking to me through a person, as he spoke with concern about my problems, and looked for ways to solve them, giving me advice,” she specified.
One of the things that most impressed Pilar was his sense of humor. “Every now and then he said something funny to soften things.” She also said that “it was incredible that he asked me to pray much for him. This shows that he is a humble person and that, in addition to coming down to hear the confession of totally normal persons, without security, without previous warning and in a simple plastic chair, he asked that one pray for him, as he has the mission to guide a very large Church.” No sooner she finished talking with him, Pilar began to cry from the emotion. She called her mother, who said to her “with this the whole family is blessed.”
For her part, Ana said that she felt peace and total happiness during her confession. “I was so overwhelmed, I could utter no words. I couldn’t believe that God’s representative was hearing my confession. It’s something I’ll remember all my life, each one of the words and the advice he gave me have marked me forever.”
“When I arrived, we talked for a while. I spoke to him about a family problem I had, I wanted him to pray for my intentions. When I said this to the Pope, he said: ‘we can’t understand the things that happen to us now, but in some moment of our life, we’ll realize why God made us go through that,’” she recalled.
Ana was impressed to see how worried the Pope was, given his experience in Lesbos. “He told me about the poverty, the suffering, the sadness he saw in the refugees,” she explained.
Finally, Ana mentioned that this year her little sister has suffered a serious illness and this experience affected her so much that she distanced herself from God. “I couldn’t find an answer to this situation and God answered me through this confession,” she said. “I would never have thought that the Holy Father would hear my confession. When I finished I was full of happiness, I felt that something had changed interiorly,” she added.
Therefore, she appeals to young people who have doubts and who do not find answers: “I advise them to seek them, that they not let things go, thinking that answers will come. They must go out in search of answers,” she stressed.