On January 2, in XX Settembre there was a surprising visit: Pope Francis came to the house.

There waiting for him were the Superior General and the Provincial of Italy, the Assistants General, the entire communities of the General Curia and Torricella, and the Sisters of Italy who had been gathered there for a provincial meeting.

The Holy Father came principally to visit Saint Raphaela Mary. When he arrived, the Sisters were gathered in the church and, after greeting them he spent a long time in prayer before our Saint. During this time the Sisters accompanied him in silence.

He made a brief visit to the Rooms of St. Raphaela Mary, went upstairs to the infirmary, and with his characteristic simplicity, spoke with the elderly Sisters who welcomed him with great emotion.

Afterwards he spent a long time in the dining room of the house with all the Sisters gathered there. He has had a profound knowledge of Saint Raphaela Mary for many years. He has read her works which have guided him in many stages of his life, especially in difficult times.

We were amazed at his simplicity in answering the questions of the Sisters; the possibility of women’s diaconate, the situation in Colombia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Japan, Africa…

The communication of his deep faith in accepting, working and living his mission has been a profound and unforgettable testimony of life.

It is a grace to have had this precious experience of missionary Church which seeks reconciliation and peace, and invites us to generous dedication and going forth to the peripheries.

Thank you, Pope Francis!