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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis' touching visit to his distant relatives in Asti, Italy

On Saturday, Pope Francis' arrival at the home of his 90-year-old cousin was very emotional.  

How are you?
-I don't want to cry.
Oh, Jorge. Happy Birthday, right?
-It's such a joy to see you. 

Carla Rabezzana was celebrating her 90th birthday. The Pope also greeted other Bergoglio relatives and family friends and had lunch with them. The menu included Russian salad and pasta stuffed with roast beef, typical of the region.

After the meal, the Pope went to visit a nursing home. He greeted everyone, both residents and nurses, one by one. 

They say old age is a bad thing. No. Old age is a wise thing. You always have that wisdom of life.
Thank you so much for your patience. Thank you so much for bearing the difficulties of sickness and the limitations of old age. Pray for me.

But the trip did not end there. Then, Pope Francis visited a different town to greet another cousin, who was joined by many of her neighbors.

He spent part of the afternoon with them, talking in the kitchen.

And thank you for the reception.
-It was nothing. You were always nice to everyone.
You are always afraid to bother anyone.   

By the time the Pope left, it was already night. He did not return to Rome but stayed at the bishop's residence.