Pope visits Castel Gandolfo, blesses sculptures by Argentine artist

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis spent a Sunday afternoon at the papal villas in Castel Gandolfo, having lunch at the papal farm and blessing two new statues by an Argentine artist.

On his way back to the Vatican, the pope stopped at the Pius XI Clinic in Rome where Argentine Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, 91, has been hospitalized, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

Pope Francis blesses two new statues by Argentine artist Alejandro Marmo, left, at the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Nov. 16. The statues are iron sculptures of the crucified Christ and Our Lady of Lujan. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Pope Francis blesses two new statues by Argentine artist Alejandro Marmo, left, at the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Nov. 16. The statues are iron sculptures of the crucified Christ and Our Lady of Lujan. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

The pope recited the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter’s Square at noon Nov. 16, ending with a blessing and by wishing the crowd a “good lunch.”

Pope Francis had his lunch out at Castel Gandolfo’s “Frantoio,” the building named after the olive press at the papal farm. He was joined, among others, by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State; Osvaldo Gianoli, director of the papal villas, and his family; the Argentine artist Alejandro Marmo and his family.

After lunch, Father Lombardi said, “the pope walked to the nearby heliport where he met a group of about 40 people he knew from Argentina, and he proceeded to bless the two works of art” — iron sculptures of the crucified Christ and of Our Lady of Lujan — created by Marmo.

–By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service.

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