Pope Francis in Asti, the emotion of relatives Nella and Armando Bergoglio.  Then lunch with cousin Carla

Pope Francis in Asti, the emotion of relatives Nella and Armando Bergoglio. Then lunch with cousin Carla

from Online editorial staff

Portacomaro and Asti welcome the Pope and the messages on the banners mix the Italian, Spanish and Piedmontese languages

Pope Francis has arrived in the town of Portacomaro (Asti), for a lunch at cousin Carla’s house to celebrate his 90th birthday and, in the early afternoon, he will visit the retirement home together with the mayor, Alessandro Bagliano, and the parish priest, Don Andrea. Previously he made a brief stop in the church of Portacomaro Stazione, the hamlet of Asti where the helicopter landed. Several hundred people awaited the pontiff. «Francisco querido Portacomaro esta contigo» is what we read on a banner. Many school children: a group hung a cloth with the words “We are here in the cool (this morning the temperature was 2-3 degrees) for Pope Francis, warm us up with a greeting”. Among those present crowded along the barriers in viale Degiani there are also some relatives of Bergoglio.

Bergoglio’s relatives

Visibly excited Nella and Armando Bergoglio who today greeted their cousin, Pope Francis. Armando, in a wheelchair, admits that he has never met the Pope but has spoken to him on the phone. Nella, on the other hand, had already met him in Rome and today, in tears, she recounts his strong emotion at seeing Francesco again. “I told him I love him so much. I’m very excited. He asked me if I still cook. I said yes and invited him to our restaurant where my son now cooks». «He gave me a rosary. He is always in our hearts and we always pray for him, because that’s what he asked us when we met him in Rome,” he added. The two will not be present at cousin Carla’s luncheon, but Francesco’s arrival in the village is still a joy. With Armando, who looks like Jorge, there was a handshake. The man’s great-grandfather, born in 1850, was the brother of the Pope’s great-grandfather. “I’ve never seen him in person – he said – but once we spoke on the phone. It was a great emotion to shake his hand. I am the last of the Bergoglio family, because there are no other male relatives with this surname».

«Piedmont is happy»

«It is an important and exciting moment for our entire community, because this is a journey in the name of family and roots. A journey that takes the Holy Father back to his homeland. And Piedmont is happy, honored and proud to be able to say welcome home to Pope Francis”. To say the president of the Piedmont Region Alberto Cirio with the vice president Fabio Carosso and the councilor Marco Gabusi.

“The coming of the Holy Father is an extraordinary event that has put a lot of energy into the field and has involved many volunteers – underlines Gabusi, councilor for Civil Protection of the Piedmont Region -. In Asti alone, over 300 volunteers will be on duty on Sunday morning of the Civil Protection and a special thanks also goes to them, who together with all the associations and public safety have given fundamental support to make this moment possible and give us great emotion”.

The messages on the banners mix Italian, Piedmontese Spanish languages. «Ben torna’ an tla toa tera (welcome back to your land) bring us the joy of the Lord», is written on the one hanging at the school in Portacomaro Stazione, the hamlet of Asti where the helicopter landed with the Pope. And again : «Francisco querido Portacomaro this contigo»we read on the one exhibited by the inhabitants of Portacomaro village.

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Nov 19, 2022 (change Nov 19, 2022 | 4:20pm)

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