Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 28 July |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Stanley Rother
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope’s sister: Jorge was my brother and best friend, always funny


ARGENTINA, Buenos Aires : From L to R, up: Pope's sister Maria Helena, Pope's mother Regina Sivori, Pope's brother Alberto, Jorge Bergoglio Pope Francis, Pope's brother Oscar, Pope's sister Martha, Pope's stepbrother Enrique Narvaja. Sitting from L to R: Pope's grandfather Juan Bergoglio, Pope's grandmother Rosa and Pope's father Mario.

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 10/27/17

He supported me a lot, as a big brother should ...

Jorge Mario Bergoglio “communicates through his example, not with words,” says his younger sister, Maria Elena Bergoglio, in a book of interviews about the pope, extracted by L’Avvenire this week. Titled L’Altro Francesco (“The Other Francis”) and written by American journalist Deborah Castellano Lubov, it was published October 10.

“He confided to me that his dream is a Church for the poor, […] free of riches and privileges,” the pope’s sister relates in the book. She says the pope hopes that the Church will have pastors who don’t isolate themselves from their people, but who live among them to serve them.

“Jorge communicates with his example, not just with his words,” Maria Elena Bergoglio said.

Speaking of their relationship, she said, “He was my brother and my best friend … He was always funny, and he supported me a lot, as a big brother should.”

In this book, the pontiff’s younger sister remembers the serious pneumonia the future pope suffered while still a seminarian. Despite being near death, she recounts, he recuperated quickly after an operation to remove part of his right lung; nonetheless, he had to abandon his dream of becoming a missionary.

The preface to L’Altro Francesco was written by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the pope’s secretary of state. The book presents the testimonies of people close to Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia, such as Cardinal Peter Turkson, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, and George Pell, as well as Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, and the rabbi of Buenos Aires (Argentina), Abraham Skorka.

An English translation is forthcoming.

Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.