After an intense day of meetings and important messages, in Turin Pope Francis was granted a moment of private serenity, meeting “six cousins with their families, 30 people in total”, with whom he had lunch at the headquarters of the Archdiocese, after having celebrated Mass. This was the last date of a full agenda. During the Piedmontese two-days, Bergoglio made several references to his origins. The most touching moment was when he read, becoming teary-eyed, the poetry “Rassa Nostrana” by Nino Costa. During his visit to St. Mary Help of Christians he recalled how important the Salesians were for him: they married his parents and helped him to become a priest.
In this frame of mind, Pope Francis visited the church of Santa Teresa in Turin, where in 1907 his paternal grandparents got married, John and Rosa Bergoglio Vassallo, and where in 1908 his father Mario was baptized. A gesture – as it is written in a note from the Vatican Press Office – that “a few months from the Synod, the Pope wanted to make just to reiterate the value of the family”.
“In the church where the family of his ancestors was born he prayed especially for families and for the success of the Synod, and kissed the baptismal font where his father was baptized”.
The note also says that the Pope “was very pleased and satisfied with the warm welcome he received in Turin, which was far beyond his expectations” in all the moments of his visit. “The visit to Turin was a homecoming for him. He always went there every time he came from Buenos Aires to Italy”.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo