The Pope celebrates the late vocation of a young German, former bank employee, with pious gestures in Saint Peter’s Square

Pope Francis often departs from standard practice by his gestures, and this time, he has done so by receiving the blessing of a young priest newly ordained this past June. The photo has been shared on the Roman Pontiff’s official Instagram account with more than 177,000 likes, in addition to having thousands of comments written by users of the popular social network.

Father Johannes Feierabend OSB, 35, blessed Pope Francis while greeting the assembled crowd at the end of the General Audience on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, at the right colonnade of Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

On June 29 of this year, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Feierabend was ordained by the Auxiliary Bishop of Augsburg, Florian Wörner.

The website of the Archabbey of Saint Peter in Salzburg, Austria, has published commemorative articles on the Ordination Mass and First Claustral Mass of Father Johannes Feierabend, who has been a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict since 2014 and was ordained a deacon on 25 November 2018.

Feierabend, one of four children, was born in 1984 in Weilheim (Augsburg) in Upper Bavaria, Germany, and grew up on a farm in the municipality of Pähl.  After completing an apprenticeship as a retail merchant and time as a bank employee at Landsberg-Ammersee-Bank, he attended the late vocations seminar at Waldram.

This story perhaps moved Pope Francis. In fact, in the photos of the photographic service L’Osservatore Romano, other images may be observed that demonstrate successive photos of the brief encounter shared between the pontiff and the young priest.  First they chat, then Pope Francis blesses him, and, successively, the pope’s gesture, which included his kissing the hands of the newly consecrated priest.

Adapted from the news story by Ary Waldir Ramos DíazAleteia (30 August 2019, Spanish edition)

Website of the Archabbey of Saint Peter, Salzburg (German)