ABU DHABI 13 February 2019: A Filipina expat residing in the UAE has revealed what she whispered to Pope Francis during this visit to the country earlier this month.
She was overcome with emotion and had to be consoled by the Pope himself. The Pontiff also presented the devout Pinay a rosary.
Sally Chan Mallari was a member of the team in charge of the Pontiff’s visit, “running here and there making sure all the nuts and bolts were covered”.
On 4th February, Sally didn’t expect that one of the errands her boss asked her to do would change her life.”I was instructed by my boss to meet the personal secretary of the Pope,” Sally said in an online interview with Filipino Times. She was referring to Fr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, a Coptic priest who is the personal secretary of Pope Francis, said Wam.
“My boss wanted to give something to Fr. Yoannis and he wanted me to go to the Presidential Palace,” she told the newspaper.
“So I went to the Presidential Palace and saw Fr. Yoannis. He told me he would come back to me. So I waited at the door, together with the Vatican Security and Palace Protocol. Then I saw Fr. Yoannis. To my surprise, he was coming out together with the Pope!”
When Sally met Pope Francis, she said: “I asked for forgiveness for all my sins. And I told the Pope to bless the UAE. Because of UAE, the Pope was able to visit here.
“Till now, I still can’t explain how I feel. It was mixed emotions. Because I was practically sleepless with all the preparation (of the State visit), then there’s joy when I saw him. All my hard work, it was really worth it,” she said.
Sally, a 40-year-old mother of two and widowed for 14 years, has been working in Dubai for 15 years.
The video of Sally’s encounter was posted on her Facebook account and has gone viral with close to 200,000 views.