Derry pupil Reuben (8) gets a letter from Pope Francis

An eight-year-old Derry boy received a very special letter earlier this week from none other than the Pope.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 2:50 pm
Holy Family Primary School P5 pupil Ruben O’Doherty, aged 8, pictured with the letter and photograph of His Holiness Pope Francis I he received from the Vatican. Photo: George Sweeney, DER0720GS -002

Reuben O’Doherty, a primary five pupil at Holy Family Primary School, could hardly contain his delight after receiving a reply to a letter he wrote to Pope Francis.

In his letter, Reuben told the Pope he had been in Phoenix Park with his family when the Pontiff visited Ireland in 2018.

He also revealed he would be visiting Rome with his mum, dad and sisters later this year and he hoped they could meet while he was there.

Holy Family Primary School P5 pupil Ruben O’Doherty, aged 8, pictured with the letter and photograph of His Holiness Pope Francis I he received from the Vatican. DER0720GS - 004

Reuben asked the Pope if they could be friends and if he could shake his hand and give him a hug.

He also wrote of his hopes of becoming a priest when he is older.

Reuben even showed off his artistic flair by drawing a picture of the Pope and Jesus to conclude his letter.

Earlier this week, much to Reuben’s surprise, he received a reply from Pope Francis.

He smiled and laughed as he recounts how his mum thought it was a letter for a doctor’s appointment until she saw the official seal on the front of the envelope.

In the response, Pope Francis thanked Reuben for his very thoughtful letter and said he would pray for the eight-year-old and his family.

A photograph of the Pontiff was also enclosed in the letter.

Reuben said he was ‘very happy’ to receive the letter from the Pope and that his Mammy was ‘delighted’.

He took it into school to show his friends and teachers.

Reuben said that he hopes he will see the Pope during his holiday to Rome.

During his time in the city, Reuben will be visiting the chapel where his parents got married, as well as taking in all the other historic and famous attractions.

Reuben can’t wait to visit Rome, and said he might continue to write to the Pope in the future in the hope that he will get more replies.