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Father Enrique Pozzoli: the priest who most influenced Pope Francis’s family

January 07, 2014

In 1990, Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio set down in writing his recollections of Father Enrique Pozzoli, a Salesian priest who died in 1961. The English edition of L’Osservatore Romano has published a translation of this text.

Mario Bergoglio, the future Pope’s father, first met Father Pozzoli when he emigrated from Italy to Argentina in 1929, and Father Pozzoli had a profound influence upon generations of the Bergoglio family.

In his five-page letter, the future Pope recounted his discernment of his vocation, his parents’ initial qualms, and the diplomatic way in which Father Pozzoli overcame them. He also recounted how, at the age of 25, he declined to see Father Pozzoli as he was dying.

“How many times have I experienced deep pain and regret,” wrote Father Bergoglio. “It was one of those moments in life (few, perhaps) that one would like to be able to live over again in order to behave differently.”


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