Brother Federico Viquez found his vocation thanks to World Youth Day Panama in 2019.
After inviting some Capuchin pilgrims into his home, he left his job as a hotel businessman and gave his life to God.
During World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Catholic News Agency spoke with Brother Viquez, a 42-year-old Capuchin friar. He explained how he discovered his vocation.
The friar, who recently made his temporary vows, was born in Costa Rica. He dedicated himself to the hotel industry for almost 20 years and last worked at Marriott Hotels in Panama.
Brother Viquez pointed out that he was discerning his vocation during World Youth Day in 2019, so he opened the doors of his home for pilgrims visiting for the event.
Among the pilgrims he hosted was the Capuchin order's director of vocations in the United States, as well as five young people discerning religious life.
“I had never met a Capuchin before in my life. I had only heard about Padre Pio,” he said.
Meeting these pilgrims made a deep impact on the friar's life, so he decided to leave the world and give his life to God.
“I packed 39 years (of life) in two suitcases and came to the States to follow the Lord,” he said.
Our Lady of Fatima was "responsible for that call"
Brother Viquez highlighted that he also attributes his vocation to Our Lady of Fatima. He walked with her pilgrim image at World Youth Day in Panama, which assured him of his vocation.
She is "responsible for that call," he said.
Brother Viquez currently lives in Washington, D.C., and studies philosophy at the Catholic University of America. Additionally, he participated in this year's World Youth Day in Lisbon, along with nine American Capuchin friars and six candidates.
"We brought them to have this journey with us," Brother Viquez said. "They are in the same process that I was in three years ago – discerning this way of life."