Pope Francis is known by many to be an advocate of family values. In his speeches, he always makes sure to remind everyone about the importance of keeping in touch with one’s kin.
As the Santo Papa once said, “Are you married? Be a saint by loving and taking care of your husband or your wife, as Christ did for the Church. . . Are you a parent or a grandparent? Be a saint by passionately teaching your children or grandchildren to know and to follow Jesus. It takes so much patience to do this: to be a good parent, a good grandfather, a good mother, a good grandmother; it takes so much patience and with this patience comes holiness…”
Has the Pope learned these from personal experience? His close relationship with his sister Maria Elena Bergoglio tell us so!
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As the only living sibling (they were five in all) of Pope Francis, it was no surprise that Maria Elena got the attention of people who were curious about what she had to say when her brother was proclaimed as Santo Papa.
“I had been hoping for [Cardinal Odilo Pedro] Scherer from Brazil,” she candidly told ncronline.org during an interview. “I’ve always liked him. He’s for the poor.”
What a shock! Did this mean she wasn’t rooting for her brother? Her answer to this was just as surprising, not to mention refreshing: “Because I wanted him back!”
But this doesn’t mean that Maria Elena isn’t ecstatic about her brother being the Pope. In fact, she is filled with joy for him, for he possesses a “distinct kind of happiness” being the Pope.
“When I finally had a chance to think about it, to watch him some more, I got the impression that he seems very happy, and it made me think that the Holy Spirit must be right there with him. He seems happy, whole. He was close to the people here in Argentina, but today he seems even closer and more able to express his feelings, which I suppose is the Holy Spirit helping him,” she explained.
Text by Stephanie Jesena-Novero.