The founder of a charity that feeds nearly one million children worldwide said its rapid growth could be partly due to Pope Francis' particular emphasis on caring for the impoverished, reports the Catholic News Agency.
“The work of Mary's Meals is growing very fast and I’m sure that the hugely encouraging words of Pope Francis and the fact that he keeps pointing us back to the poor and our obligation to serve the poor is making us all think of those things more than we did before,” said founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow.
MacFarlane-Barrow met Pope Francis on Tuesday in Saint Peter's Square during his last general audience before he heads to Rio di Janeiro next month for World Youth Day. The pontiff had heard about the charity through its supporters and MacFarlane-Barrow was invited to attend the general audience and receive a personal blessing.
Alongside his wife, the charity founder presented the Pope with the blue Mary's Meals mug. “It was wonderful and a very, very special moment for my wife and I,” he told CNA.
“It was really special and he was very interested in our family and asked how many children we had,” MacFarlane-Barrow added. “He was very pleased to hear we have seven children and was very interested in our work of Mary’s Meals.”
The founder said when he met the pontiff he felt he was representing the “family of Mary’s Meals,” which includes thousands of people worldwide.
FULL STORY Global charity's rapid growth attributed to Pope's influence (CNA)