.- A 100th birthday is a special event in itself. But it became even more special for Carmelinda Rossi when she received birthday greetings from Pope John Paul II.
When planning the birthday celebrations, her grandson, Robert Biscari, wrote the Pope and asked him to send greetings.
The Pope’s message – wishing Carmelinda many more years – arrived, and it was given to the centenarian Saturday evening at her party. This was a special gift for the devout Catholic, who was surprised and moved to tears, reported the Kansas City Star.
Carmelinda was born in Italy Sept. 27, 1904. After the age of 50, she immigrated to the United States in 1955. She still lives in her home in Northeast Kansas and speaks mostly Italian.
Her son, Angelo, said his mother never had a serious illness until 18 months ago and had never been in a hospital before that.
What does Carmelinda claim to be the secrets of her longevity? Faith, love of family and abstaining from drink, though she admits to an occasional glass of wine.