VATICAN CITY — Pamela Mauro thought it was unlikely Pope Francis would stop at her house, “but seeing how he is, I decided to try anyway.”
Mauro’s parents, and her sister Roberta, who is severely disabled, live in Calabria, just outside Sibari on the main road Pope Francis traveled Saturday on his way to a Mass with an estimated 250,000 people.
She and her family put up big signs on the road, asking Pope Francis, “Stop.” Another said, “There’s an angel waiting for you here.” And yet another said, “Dear Pope, bless and embrace little Roberta.”
Shortly before the pope was due to pass, the family went to the edge of the road, brining Roberta with them on a reclining wheelchair.
Pope Francis did indeed stop his car. He got out of the car and blessed and caressed Roberta.
He blessed the others, shook hands, posed for photos and put up with some ear-piercing shouts of approval, mostly “Bravo, Francesco.”
The Italian newspaper Il Gazzettino posted a story and photographs on their website and Ivan Parfenie posted a video on YouTube.