CAACUPE, PARAGUAY – Yesterday, after Pope Francis prayed here at the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Caacupe, the Pope told a solitary reporter that something special
was about to happen.
Earlier in the day, the Pope visited 78-year-old Asunción Jimenez at her home in Bañado Norte, a slum in Paraguay’s capital, Asunción, where she served him a simple Paraguayan soup and mate, a traditional Paraguayan tea.
With Paraguay’s right-wing president, Horacio Cartes, Archbishop Eustaquio Cuquejo Verga, and the solitary reporter looking on, Francis ordained Señora Jimenez, who had previously been selected by the Vatican as one of three slum dwellers whom the Pope would visit during his stay in this impoverished, landlocked South American nation. The Archbishop fainted, and was helped to his feet by the solitary reporter.
Shockwaves, accompanied by an earthquake at nearby Cordillera del Yvytyrusu, measured at 9.5 on the Richter Scale, or 2.7 gigatons, immediately ensued. The entire Curia at the Vatican began weeping and wailing. On the campaign trail in New Hampshire, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a convert to Catholicism, told his Mexican-born wife, Columba, that he will immediately abandon the Catholic faith and revert to run-of-the-mill Episcopalianism.
Equally shocked, Señora Jimenez, recalling the narrative in Luke 1: 26-56, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary, the mother of Jesus, that she was about to become the Mother of God, immediately prayed the Magnificat ("My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the loneliness of his servant").
After the Pope embraced her, Señora Jimenez asked Francis whether she should assume the title of Madre. Francis immediately replied, "Yes, my daughter, of course."