Pope Francis Visits the Church of his Confessor who Died at Age 85 - RIP Father Manuel Blanco

The Pope this morning attended the wake of his confessor Father Manuel Blanco, who died at age 85.

This morning the Pope went to the Roman church of the Saints Forty Martyrs and Saint Pasquale Baylon to pray before the coffin of his Franciscan confessor, who passed away at the age of 85. Friar Jose Manuel Sanchis Cantó, from the community who lives in the parish said: "I was moved by Francis' gesture of closeness and affection"

At the Angelus, Pope Francis remembered his confessor, the Franciscan father Manuel Blanco Rodríguez, who suddenly passed away between the night of June 20th and Friday, June 21st, in Rome at the church of Santi Quaranta Martiri and Saint Pascal Baylon in Trastevere, where on June 24, at 10 am, the funeral will take place.

“Confessor, man of counsel”: this is how Pope Francis defined him. “A man of mercy who never boasted of his role”: this was described by Brother Massimo Fusarelli, general minister of the Order of Friars Minor. Father Blanco held many roles such as Dean and Professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical University Antonianum.

The arrival of Pope Francis was described by Brother Josè Manuel Sanchis Cantó, professor of Christology, who lives together with the other brothers at the church in Trastevere. “This morning before seven they rang the doorbell, the Father Superior had warned us that someone from the Papal Household would be arriving, but we didn't think it was the Pope. When I opened the door the Vatican gendarmerie was there who warned us of the imminent arrival of Francesco. All the friars went down to the sacristy where Father Manuel's coffin is placed - explains Brother Josè - then the Pope arrived and greeted us". After the first exchange of words, Francis spoke with those present, inquiring about their origins, some young people in fact come from the Philippines, others from Indonesia. “He gave us some advice and spoke to us about Father Blanco as a good, merciful and gentle person – adds Brother Josè – all in an atmosphere of serenity and closeness”. Then the morning prayer in front of the body. “The first thing the Pope wanted to do – said the Franciscan – was to get as close as possible to the coffin and he remained there the whole time”.

Source: Vatican News Italian