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Pope Francis Canucks jersey makes B.C. couple an online sensation

06/04/2015 05:19 EDT | Updated 06/04/2016 05:59 EDT
Vancouver newlyweds Joseph and Marion San Jose have become an online sensation after giving Pope Francis his very own custom Vancouver Canucks jersey.

The San Joses, who are honeymooning in Rome, got to meet the Pope as part of a tradition for newlyweds during the Wednesday general audience, which they had tickets to attend.

Joseph San Jose, who is a Catholic missionary, said some of his coworkers had gone to Rome in the past for the same general audience to meet the Pope, and had given gifts of maple syrup.

"We started thinking what we should give the Pope that's just as Canadian, but isn't maple syrup...Because we feel like he gets a lot of maple syrup from Canadians," he told the CBC over Skype.

The idea to give the Pope a Canucks jersey came to San Jose after watching a video with the Harlem Globetrotters.

"They gave him a jersey that said Pope Francis. So I thought it would be pretty sweet if he got one from the Vancouver Canucks," he said.

San Jose asked his friend Clayton Imoo, known to fans for his musical tributes to the Canucks, to help him get a custom-made jersey.

Imoo presented the couple with the jersey at their wedding reception in Vancouver. In Rome, the San Joses had to line up for five hours in the sun, wearing wedding garb, to give the jersey to the Pope — but their efforts were rewarded.

According to them, the Pope said, "Yes! Hockey! Hockey!" before blessing them and moving on to the next couple.

Having only been married for five days, the couple say they are overwhelmed with all the attention they have received, but the whole experience has been worth it. 

"We've been waiting for so long," said Marion San Jose.

"We love our Pope, we love our faith, and we wanted to incorporate where we're from with the Vancouver Canucks."

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