Pope Francis' trip to visit a cousin who turned 90

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The Supreme Pontiff was reunited with several relatives and enjoyed a typically Piedmontese lunch

Pope Francis' trip to visit a cousin who turned 90

Pope Francis met with his cousin Carla Rebezzana to celebrate his 90th birthday in Portacomaro, Italy, on November 19, 2022 (Vatican Media/REUTERS)

Pope Francistraveled this Saturday to the small town of Portacomaro in the province of Asti, in the region of Piedmont, northwest of Italy, to visit her cousins ​​and have lunch with her cousin Carla Ravezana, who just turned 90, on a family visit to her grandparents' land.

After a few appointments in his diary, the Pope arrived by helicopter in this town where his cousin Carla was waiting for him with the table set.

Francisco's father, Mario Bergoglio, was the first cousin of Inés, Carla's mother.

Before lunch, the pontiff – or Giorgio as his cousin Carla calls him – wanted to make a stop at the church of Portacomaro, where his family and at the end of the meal, she visited the nursing home that is located right across the street from her cousin's house and chatted with some of the residents.

Pope Francis' trip to visit a cousin who turned 90

The Pope visited the Casa di riposo in Portacomaro, Italy, on November 19, 2022 (Vatican Media/REUTERS)

The family lunch menu was typically Piedmontese: Russian salad, the classic agnolotti del plin, so called because, to prepare them, the pasta must be pinched and “plin” in dialect is pinch and second roasted with vegetables garnished and the famous bagna cauda” sauce and for dessert the bonet, a kind of cocoa flan.

The few photos of the meeting show the strong hug with cousin Carla at the entrance to the house and then the Pope seated at the head of the table with a broad smile.

The Pope also visited Tigliole, another small town in the Asti area where another family of cousins ​​lives and another of her cousins ​​to whom she is very close, Delia Gai.

Pope Francis' trip to visit to a cousin who turned 90

Pope Francis also met his cousin Delia Gai in Tigliole, Italy, on November 19, 2022 (Vatican Media/REUTERS)

“For a long time I wanted to spend a few hours with my relatives in my family places. Before he was pope, he often went to the Asti area, it was a custom: when he came to Rome as provincial of the Jesuits from Argentina, or as archbishop to participate in a synod. Each time I went through Piedmont to see my father's cousins. With my older cousin, Carla, we often talk on the phone. Tomorrow we will meet with five other cousins, and this fills me with joy”, Francisco explained in an interview published in the Turin newspaper La Stampa.

Francisco he stayed all afternoon with his relatives in a totally private meeting and will rest in the bishopric of Asti. On Sunday, when the feast of Christ the King is celebrated, he will preside over mass in the city's cathedral to “embrace the local community from which his parents left to emigrate to Argentina”, they explained from the diocese.

Pope Francis' trip to visit a cousin who turned 90

The Pope visited Delia Gai and her husband Franco Travo in Tigliole, Italy, this Saturday, April 19. November 2022 (Vatican Media/REUTERS)

In June 2015, Francis had been on an official visit to Turin and was also able to hug his family on that occasion.

His grandfather, Giovanni Bergoglio (1884) emigrated to Turin in 1906 and married Rosa Vassallo, a native of Piana Crixia (Liguria), while the father of the pontiff, Mario Bergoglio, was born in Turin in 1908, but later the family returned to Asti (in July 1918), where they opened a grocery store and lived in Via Fontana, in Corso Alessandria and in Via dell'Ancient Mint, before emigrating to Argentina.

With information from EFE