By Anne Kurian-Montabone

On July 26, 2020, Pope Francis telephoned the mother of a young man who died in a road accident last autumn.

“It was 4:20 pm when my mobile rang this Sunday afternoon,” said Cinzia Desiati to the Interris site. “Unknown number . . . Curious, I answered right away and, at the other end, a very soft voice said to me: ‘Hello, is it Mrs Cinzia? I’m Pope Francis.’”

The mother of Fabrizio Di Bitetto, 21, the young Roman who lost his life in a road accident on October 5, 2019, in Rome’s EUR zone, expressed her surprise. “I thought it was a joke. I said so to him and he reassured me immediately saying to me ‘everyone thinks it’s a joke when I call,’ but it was his voice.”

The Pope was answering a recent letter he received from Cinzia Desiati. “These weren’t easy months and at the beginning of the month of July, I plucked up my courage and decided to write a letter to the Pope. In my gush of words, I told him who Fabrizio was, summarizing my family’s situation. I also enclosed a photo of my son and I ended saying that I would like to meet him.”

“’ How are you?’ The Pope asked, and how is your husband?’ . . .We spoke of Fabrizio and he told me that that kind of misfortune shouldn’t happen,” she continued. “I told him how that event had upset the life of all those around us and I confided to him that my husband lost the faith. He comforted me saying ‘I understand. It’s normal for that to happen.”’ With a father’s words, he repeated to me several times that he understood my husband’s attitude without condemning him . . . he understood justifying him because of the intense suffering.”

“When I asked to meet him,” continued Cinzia Desiati, he said to me: ‘one will have this meeting when it’s possible while waiting I’ll pray and I will pray for your family, but you must pray for me . . . ‘”

“My faith also vacillated,” confided the tested mother. I poured my suffering on the Lord. I removed all the crucifixes but I gripped the figure of the Virgin Mary as She lived the same suffering.”

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