Vatican City, Aug 19, 2023 / 09:41 am
Pope Francis called the mother of a young man, Luca Re Sartù, 24, who passed away after apparently contracting a bacterial staph infection during his trip to Portugal for World Youth Day. The infection likely turned into septicemia leading to organ failure, and the youth died on Aug. 11. The autopsy results are pending.
On Thursday, Aug. 17, the day before the funeral, Pope Francis called Luca’s mother. According to the auxiliary bishop of Milan, Bishop Luca Raimondi, who celebrated the youth’s funeral with 13 other priests, “the pope and Luca’s mother cried together.”
“What the mother said to me,” the bishop explained to Vatican Radio, “was, word for word, ‘When you see him [the pope], thank him for me, because he was exquisitely kind. He grieved with me, he cried with me, and above all, he was like a father. He consoled me as if he were my dad.’”
“This mother was very, very touched,” the bishop said, adding that he was also moved by the pope’s gesture. “The pope shared the tears of this woman. This has struck me. It is very beautiful.”