Rome, October 9, 2023 – In a prestigious ceremony held at the Aula Magna of the Pontifical Antonianum University in Rome, the renowned Argentine poet and philanthropist, Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy with a specialization in Integral Ecology. This prestigious accolade, presented by the Order of the Franciscan Friars, is a recognition of Roemmers’ merits as a promoter of Pope Francis’ teachings and the Franciscan charisma.
The Pontifical Antonianum University, a Catholic institution of the Franciscan Friars Minor based in Rome, was the setting for this significant event. This distinction makes Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers the fifth laureate and the first layperson to receive this honor in the 800-year history of the Franciscan Order. The Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy with a specialization in Integral Ecology, awarded to a layperson in an unprecedented manner, highlights Roemmers’ commitment to promoting Christian values and his unwavering quest for universal unity in a world marked by divisions and conflicts.
This honor adds to the prestigious St. Francis of Assisi Award that Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers received in April 2023 for his outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic work. This award, presented for the first time to a layperson in the history of the church, underscores his deep dedication to building a more united, equitable, and peaceful world.
In a packed auditorium, various aspects of Alejandro’s personality were highlighted by notable speakers such as Luis Alberto de Cuenca y Prado (a distinguished Spanish poet, philologist, Hellenist, translator, essayist, columnist, literary critic, and editor, awarded the National Translation Award and the National Poetry Award), Daniel Funes de Rioja (Doctor of Law and Social Sciences from the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires, the only Argentine member of the International Advisory Caucus of the G20 Italy, and president of FIPAA and COPAL since 2009), and Father Ignacio María Doñoro, a priest who has tirelessly fought against various forms of child rights violations since 2002.
The event unfolded with a mix of solemnity and admiration, concluding with Alejandro Roemmers delivering his masterful, emotional, and poetic lecture on his experiences in achieving spiritual fulfillment and joy.
In addition to his role as a poet and philanthropist, Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers has proven to be a socially responsible entrepreneur. His book, “The Return of the Young Prince,” focusing on instilling values in young adolescents, has been translated into nearly 40 languages and is being used in thousands of schools. His commitment to promoting Pope Francis’ teachings and the Franciscan charisma has left an indelible mark on the field of philanthropy. He has contributed to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation for ocean conservation, been a donor to UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders, and dedicated all the proceeds from his novel “Necessary to Die” to the latter organization. Additionally, in 2018, he funded the “Empowering Economy”, providing significant financial support to the San Francisco community in Jujuy, Argentina, enabling its 400 residents to develop entrepreneurial initiatives.
Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers has also been honored by the Honorable Chamber of Deputies of the Nation for his contributions to Argentine culture and literature. In March 2010, the Legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires named him a “Distinguished Personality of Culture” and declared his work, “The Return of the Young Prince,” of cultural interest for the City of Buenos Aires.
The Senate of the Nation in Argentina recognized his work by awarding him the “Domingo F. Sarmiento” distinction on December 3, 2018, an act representing another acknowledgment from institutions and his community. The Mexican-origin Kardias Foundation, dedicated to providing quality medical care to children with heart diseases, named him one of the best entrepreneurs. He also supported “Agropecuaria San Francisco” in Mozambique, Africa, in the creation of clean drinking water wells for the entire community.
In addition to his philanthropic work, Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers is known for his support of the “Pequeño Deseo Foundation,” an organization that fulfills the wishes of chronically ill or terminally ill children to provide emotional support during their treatment and temporarily remove them from their illness.
Recently, he was awarded the Mayte Spínola Gold Medal in Madrid for his contributions to poetry and philanthropy, and the award was displayed in May of this year at the Nasdaq building in New York.
He has also been twice honored in Madrid with the “Bronze Hands” (one with wings), a very special and important philanthropy award possessed by only four world personalities, including Mario Vargas Llosa and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Sebastián Piñera.
The path charted by Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers resonates with the inspiring words of St. Francis of Assisi: “We are all brothers,” a call to human fraternity that transcends borders, beliefs, ideologies, and ways of life. In a world where individualism and disconnection often prevail, Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers challenges the current decline by centering his life on service to others through literature, solidarity, and the promotion of peace.
The legacy of Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers reminds us that recognition and celebration can honor the way we live and share our love with others. His life is a testament that fraternity and compassion are a tangible and altruistic way to live. Through his example, he urges us to embrace a way of relating that transcends individualism, embracing interconnectedness and love as a new paradigm for the future of humanity.
In a world where noise often drowns out the voice of love, Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers emerges as a living reminder that each of us has the power to make a difference right now. His life story, marked by personal growth, effort, and achievements, inspires us to look beyond ourselves. His message is not just “It’s possible,” but “Let’s spread the revolution of love!” encouraging us to build a world together where fraternity, compassion, and love are the foundations of our existence. His legacy is a symbol of hope and an invitation to be activists of full brotherhood on a planet that eagerly and urgently needs that light.