Francis was the first born of the Bergoglio family’s five children. Most of his siblings are no longer living, and María Elena is the only surviving sister. As María unveiled to the journalists, during the conclave period she prayed throughout a whole week that his brother would not be picked Head of the Church.
Later she admitted what a selfish reaction it was, but she just did not want his brother torn apart from her by the papal office. Shortly after the white smoke billowed out from the Sistine Chapel chimney, the telephone rang that her son answered. The new Pope was on the line! María took over the phone to have a word with her brother. Pope Francis said that he could not call every family member, and asked her to forward them his greetings. “Please call everyone, send them my love, because if I call everyone, it will empty the Vatican coffers.” – Bergoglio said, then inquired about the dinner her sister was cooking. “What a great sense of humour my brother always had and has not lost ever since” – noted María Elena.
As for her brother’s papal election, the Pope’s sister is of the view that the Church has opened its doors letting everyone in. Though María Elena did not attend Pope Francis’ inauguration ceremony in Rome, she followed the event on TV from her home in Buenos Aires. The newly elected Holy Father required his fellow countryman not to travel to Rome for the ceremony, rather donate the price of the flight tickets to the poor instead. One year later María revealed her feelings in an interview: “I do not feel like I’ve lost a brother just because he was elected Pope. Instead, I feel like gaining many new family members.” “Moreover, I do not call my brother neither ‘Francis’, nor ‘Holy Father’, but simply call him ‘Jorge’.” – she added.
Pope Francis arrives in Budapest on September 12, 2021 to attend the Closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress.
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Source: CNN, ABC, GLOBO
Photo: abc.es, magyarkurir.hu