(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday morning paid his respects for Miriam Woldu, a 34-year-old receptionist at the Pope’s residence who died recently at her apartment on the outskirts of Rome.
The receptionist was an Eritrean-born Italian citizen, who was seven-months-pregnant. She had been suffering diabetes-related complications during her pregnancy.
The funeral was held on Saturday in the Church of the St. Stephen of the Abyssinians, located on the grounds of the Vatican.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, said before the funeral Mass, Pope Francis prayed silently for 20 minutes in the church – “showing his great affection and respect for his dear collaborator in the Casa Santa Marta” – and left a bouquet of 12 white roses.
Last month, Pope Francis remembered another deceased member of the Casa Santa Marta staff – a cleaner named Elvira – during his Sunday Angelus. The Holy Father said his collaborators “are not just employees, but are a part of the family in the house.”