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Rome Reports

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Parents of little boy who took center stage at General Audience: We just let him be


This is Savino, by now a regular at the pope's General Audiences. He seems to be right at home as he meanders about the steps in front of Pope Francis and the rest of the crowd.

This is the second time the little boy is in the pope's presence. He was 29 days old when the two first crossed paths in 2018.

GIORGIO
Savino's dad
“When we came last time, the pope took Savino in his arms and blessed him. So this time, we also brought his brother, Giovanni. He's seven months old now. So it's a huge blessing.”

ANNA
Savino's mom
“It's an emotion I can't quite put into words. I thank the Lord. That's all I can say.”

It must be hard for parents to discipline a child whose shenanigans get them to personally meet the pope. Giorgio and Anna say Savino often takes the same liberties at their home parish in Bologna, often walking right up to the altar in the middle of Mass.

GIORGIO
Savino's dad
“I was worried at first when he started walking up there. We didn't know what to do. If I had picked him up, he would have started screaming, so I just let him be.”

ANNA
Savino's mom
“You never know. He does a little of everything. So he might have climbed up, down, even gone outside. He even tried to climb up over where the guard was.”

Anna hopes Savino will one day become a priest, but she says it will be up to him. The family is going back to Bologna for now, but from the looks of it, this probably won't be their final encounter with Pope Francis.

Claudia Torres