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How Richard “Sir Chief” Yap Met Pope Francis

A sudden change of plans during a vacation can be a bit of a hassle, but what happened to Richard Yap was the total opposite. During a family trip to Italy, the family man, actor, and businessman experienced a wonderful miracle—he was given a chance to meet Pope Francis!

Also Read: In Photos: Pope’s Best Moments with Visitors from Across the Globe

Can you tell us about your close encounter with Pope Francis?

Our scheduled chance to see Pope Francis was only supposed to be on Sunday, July 8, during the High Mass. Because I had tapings, this meant my stay would only be for five days. I was resigned to the fact that I wouldn’t have the chance to see the Pope. By a stroke of luck—or was it a blessing?—Monsignor Mauricio invited us to be part of the special First Friday mass with the Pope celebrating it. This was a miracle because no one ever expected for us to be given the chance.

How was your son Dylan able to serve at the Mass?

Dylan is a member of the Knights of the Altar at his school. This year, instead of going to summer camp, the school decided to send them to the Vatican to serve at the Masses there. Fortunately, the Vatican gave its consent.

What was it like to shake the hand of the Pope Francis? How did it feel?

It was indescribable. I was at a loss for words and did not know how to talk to him. After being able to shake his hand and speak a few words with him, I felt a sense of his holiness and a sense of joy within.



This article appears on the October 2018 issue of My Pope Philippines. Text by Mara Agner.
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