U.S. teens to be confirmed by pope choose Sts. Francis, Ignatius as patrons

(CNS/Mike Crupi)

(CNS/Mike Crupi)

VATICAN CITY — The two teenagers from the United States who will be among 44 people confirmed by Pope Francis on Sunday chose very appropriate saints for their confirmation patrons, although at the time, they didn’t know just how fitting they would be.

In late February or early March — “about two weeks before the conclave began” and elected Pope Francis — Msgr. Ronald J. Rozniak was asked by the Archdiocese of Newark to choose two of the 226 members of his parish’s confirmation class to be confirmed by the pope. He put names of candidates from Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Ridgewood, N.J., into a hardhat and drew the names of Brigid Miniter, 14, and Anthony Merejo, 17.

(CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

(CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

Members of the confirmation class, including the chosen two, had already picked the saints they wanted as their confirmation patrons, he said in a telephone interview a few minutes ago.

Well before the world’s cardinals chose a Jesuit to be pope and that Jesuit chose Francis as his name, Msgr. Rozniak drew the name of Miniter — who had chosen “Francis with an ‘i’ for Francis of Assisi” for her saint — and Merejo — who had chosen Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits.

“If that’s not providential, I don’t know what is,” he said.

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