Coming up with a unique way to turn a girlfriend into a fiance requires a certain amount of forethought and planning.
Certainly it’s difficult to come up with something that doesn’t have a “been there, done that” feel to it.
Thanks to social media, though, we see grandiose proposals every day. So many, in fact, that it makes it even harder for a poor guy to come up with something totally unique and precious.
When faced with the daunting prospect of coming up with a one-of-a-kind proposal, Dario Ramirez did what he has done with every other difficult task in his life:
He met it head-on and came up with an amazing plan…one no other man will be able to copy. At least, not very easily.
Ramírez is a former lawmaker and political exile who left Venezuela in 2014 and is now living in Panama.
The human rights activist is seeking refuge from the totalitarian Maduro regime that does not look kindly upon those who challenge their authority.
But moving on to happier things, he had met the woman in his life in a church and he thought it would be fitting if he proposed to her in the same setting.
He was at the Vatican to discuss what was going on in Venezuela with Catholic legislators, and that’s when inspiration struck.
Incredibly enough, Ramirez had been granted an audience with the Pope. His girlfriend, Maryangel Espinal, was traveling with him and would be present as well when he met Pope Francis.
Coming to face to face with a religious icon is always a heart-pounding experience. What Maryangel didn’t know was that the man by her side had even more of a reason to be suffering from a jumping heart.
When they met Pope Francis they exchanged the usual pleasantries.
Then Ramírez spent a few minutes chatting with the Argentine pontiff about the political and economic upheaval in his home country before changing the subject to something happier ― a surprise for his girlfriend.
After taking a deep breath, Ramirez readied himself for one of the biggest moments in his life.
As a human rights activist he was very used to asking for help in helping others. Now, here he was preparing to ask the Pope for something that was important only to his own future, not that of his country.
I said “There is something else that I want to ask you.” As he said later, he was pretty sure that his statement scared his now-fiance.
She was afraid that he was going to ask for something totally undignified and inappropriate. Something like asking to take a selfie together.
But, what he asked for was much more solemn and precious than asking to take a selfie.
“I explained to the Holy Father that the woman next to me is the woman of my life,” Ramirez told the National Catholic Register.
“I met her in church, that God put her in my life, and I want to propose to her. So I got down on one knee and asked.”
There was silence for a few moments after he asked his question.
The Pope broke the silence when he said, “Wow, in front of the Pope!”
He added. “She’s not speaking — he asked you to marry him, what do you say?”
It took Maryangel a second to answer, a second I’m sure almost stopped Ramirez’s heart.
Then suddenly she answered with an emphatic “Yes!”
All of the delegates in the hall whooped and hollered in a manner not usually seen at such gatherings.
The Pope wore a wide smile as well as he watched Ramirez put the ring on Maryangel’s finger. He then blessed the couple and their upcoming union.
He later admitted that he was as much in the dark as Maryangel; he had had no idea what the young man was going to ask him.
Ramirez did follow the proper channels before he used his audience with the Pope in such a manner. The Pope and Maryangel were the only ones in the hall who didn’t know what was about to happen.
We’ve all heard this referred to as “popping the question.” In this case however, it seems more fitting to say that Ramirez “Pope-d the question.”
May all of the rest of the surprises in store for Dario Ramirez and his beautiful bride-to-be be happy ones.
And may the blessing of Pope Francis follow them throughout a long and happy life together.