ROME — Pedro Paulo Oliveira Weizenmann recently met his most important role model in Pope Francis at the Vatican.
“Pope Francis has been the main role model for me since the beginning of his pontificate, and these past years have been a very formative period of my life, so meeting him was indeed an extremely special moment for me personally,” said Weizenmann, a member of the Schoenstatt Movement and a graduate in political science from Harvard University.
“It was his vision for the Church and the world today that inspired me to come work at the Vatican right after college. So, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him,” he added.
As a recipient of the Frederick Sheldon Postgraduate Traveling Fellowship from Harvard University, the Brazil native has made a one-year commitment to work at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Development, while living at The Lay Centre. His two areas of focus are the Ecology Taskforce of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission and the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
The audience with Pope Francis took place in the Vatican for participants at the international conference on the theme “Eradicating Child Labour, Building a Better Future.” The conference was promoted by the dicastery’s Vatican COVID-19 Commission, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Weizenmann said his meeting with Pope Francis was very brief.
“I took advantage of the opportunity to ask him to bless a picture of my family,” he said. “I was struck by his presence during this particular moment of the blessing and it marked me how his expression immediately turned into one of serious prayerfulness as soon as I showed the picture to him.”
(Photo: courtesy Vatican Media)