With words of affection and encouragement, Pope Francis personally greeted and blessed the 40 senior residents at the nursing home of Portacomaro. They’re neighbours of Carla Rabezzana, the Pope’s cousin, whom he visited on Saturday, 19 November in her home at Via Stefano Degiani 40.
After lunch with his cousin, Pope Francis, accompanied by Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, Regent of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, made the short trip down the street to meet the elderly residents and the staff members who care for them.
He was greeted by the director; Mayor Alessandro Balliano; and parish priest Andrea Ferrero. They showed the Holy Father the so-called “Pope’s vineyard”, an initiative overseen by the Laudato Si’ community and in which the Bergoglio family is also involved.
The people of Portacomaro welcomed the Holy Father with the quiet enthusiasm characteristic of the people of Piedmont, and with respect for the private nature of the Pontiff’s visit. When the Pope’s vehicle drove through the town square, the city band started playing a March dedicated to him, composed by Stefano Borgo, one of the musicians participating. The music ended with a tango, in memory of the many people, like the Bergoglio family, who left Piedmont for Argentina.
Pope Francis then travelled the 25 kilometres by car to Tigliole, where he visited his cousin Delia Gai and her husband Franco Travo in their apartment.