An April fool’s joke: my vocation story, the 19th century prankster, and the statue in Vatican

I bought a plane ticket to General Santos on April 1, 2011. A week earlier, I resigned from my job in the call centre. The company HR was puzzled when they’ve read in my resignation letter my reason. They were wondering what is religious/consecrated life. In truth, I too was grasping what kind of life I was going to enter. The only way for me to find out is to “come and see”. When an Australian manager said not to stop me since it is “God’s will”, that made explaining easier. Since it is a vocation, a calling, they approved my resignation and let me go.


Now, looking at the date, April 1, there must be some kind of joke in my decision to join the Brothers. Speaking of jokes, I remember one incident of St. Marcellin Champagnat, founder of Marist Brothers. One night, a young brother, Sylvester, was hiding in the dark to prank on a brother who walks through the entrance. Seeing only the silhouette of a man entering, he jumped on the back of this victim, pretending to threaten this “brother”, maybe either as a thief or an inquisitor. Brother Sylvester realized later that the joke was on him (rhymes like a song) when he saw this brother” piggybacking him was approaching Father Champagnat’s office. The founder was in a playful mood to prank the prankster.

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Inspired by "the prank", the carved statue in Vatican.

This incident was the inspiration of the statue which now can be found in Vatican, in front of Casa Santa Marta where Pope Francis resides.

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Pope Francis entering Casa Santa Marta

See Father Champagnat in the glass reflection of the entrance of Casa Santa Marta.

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