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Notícias Internacionais / 20/01/2021

Pope was baptized in the same church that Carlos Gardel sang in choir

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Pope was baptized in the same church that Carlos Gardel sang in choir


Francisco was baptized basilica of San Carlos Borromeo y María Auxiliadora.

'He has a simple style and is very close to the people,' says the parish priest.

The basilica of San Carlos Borromeo y María Auxiliadora of Buenos Aires was already famous for having the singer Carlos Gardel and the blessed Zeferino Namuncurá among his faithful, but this detail was overcome by another of greater relevance: there was born the faith of the now Pope Francis .

In this architectural relic of the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Almagro, as well as many other descendants of Italian immigrants, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was baptized (at Christmas 1936), who many years later would become archbishop of Buenos Aires and cardinal primate of Argentina.

"He was baptized in this place, so we can assume that his faith was born here," the pastor of the basilica, Salesian priest José Repovz, told the EFE news agency, who opens the doors of the baptistery the now Pope Francis received the sacrament that marked the beginning of his religious life.

Chance caused Bergoglio, an avowed tango lover, to be baptized in the same church in which, at the beginning of the 20th century, the young Carlos Gardel sang in the choir, as a sign affixed to the walls of the place warns.

In this same place, whose altar was blessed by Bergoglio in 2007, Zeferino Namuncurá, known as the 'holy Indian of Patagonia', held his first communion in 1898.

Since the election of the Argentine pope in the conclave, the faithful have passed this almost intimate place in the basilica to make a more than significant gesture: to touch the sink the Holy Father was baptized.

However, this gesture did not come about by chance. Bergoglio himself performed this "personal rite", in particular, during his frequent visits to the church, that was until he traveled to the Vatican a few weeks ago.

Less than ten years ago, in honor of Bergoglio's 70 years of baptism, the church placed a small picture in the baptistery with a copy of the minutes of the parish book that records the administration of the sacrament.

Here, the faithful can see that Jorge Mario, son of Mario Bergoglio and Regina Sívori, sponsored by Francisco Sívori and Rosa Vassallo de Bergoglio, was baptized by the Salesian priest Enrique Pozzoli, who would later become his spiritual director.

In addition, Bergoglio was a student at the Don Bosco school, located in the Ramos Mejía province and attended by the Salesian priests, a congregation whose founder, Saint John Bosco, personally blessed the image of Mary Help of Christians - patron of the religious order - who is venerated in the parish Pope was baptized.

then on, Bergoglio became a devotee of the saint, who was honored every May 24, at the feast of Mary Help of Christians, with an employer celebration in Almagro.

However, the now pontiff did not reduce his devotion to just one day, since, whenever he could, he visited the place by bus or subway to 'talk alone' with Mary Help of Christians.

According to Father Repovz, Bergoglio used to appear at times not frequented by the faithful, he sat on a hidden bench at the foot of the image of Mary Help of Christians - the same one that was blessed by St. John Bosco -, and he prayed for hours in the place.

"He has a special affection for Mary Help of Christians," said the parish priest, who revealed that Bergoglio visited Almagro "often" not only for the basilica, but also because of the chapel of Santo Antonio, he was founded in 1908 - thanks to the Salesian priest as well. Lorenzo Massa - the San Lorenzo de Almagro club, the Pope's team.

In fact, it was Bergoglio himself who, during the celebration of the centenary of the club, asked the authorities and directors not to 'never' remove the image of Mary Help of Christians the institution, whose blue and red colors were removed the mantle of Our Lady.

"Bergoglio has a simple style and, as a consequence, is very close to the people, who always filled the church every time he appeared, just as he did on the day he was announced as pope. People's joy at having him known is huge, "concluded Repovz.

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