During 1st Jubilee Audience, Pope Prays for Santa Marta Worker

“The Pope Is a Bit Sad Today,” He Says as He Remembers Member of ‘Santa Marta’ Family Who Just Passed Away, Invites Faithful to Do 2 Acts of Mercy

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Pope Francis mourned the loss of an elderly woman, Elvira, who constituted part of his ‘family’ within the Vatican who just passed away, during his 1st Jubilee Audience on Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Square.

This audience marked the first of the Jubilee Audiences, which will continue to be held once a month during the Holy Year.

During his Italian-language greetings, the Holy Father shared a very heartfelt intention.

“Some of you have wondered what the Pope’s house is like, where the Pope lives,” reminding them he lives in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, “a large house, where some forty priests and some bishops who work in the Curia live,” and some visitors stay.

In Casa Santa Marta, he explained, there is a group of men and women that carry out the works of the house, including those of cleaning, cooking, and in the dining room.

This group of men and women, the Pope told those gathered, is part of, and constitutes, “a family,” not a “far off working staff.”

Francis went on say, “the Pope is a bit sad today,” because “yesterday, a lady who has helped us so much, for years, passed away.” He noted how her husband also works in Casa Santa Marta and is part of this family.

“After a long illness, the Lord called her to Himself,” he said, saying, “Her name is Elvira.”

With this in mind, the Holy Father invited those present to do two works of mercy: to pray for the deceased and to console the afflicted.

Pope Francis also invited them to pray a Hail Mary for her eternal peace and eternal joy,” and that “the Lord may console her husband and her children.”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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