An Argentine woman claimed that she once was the object of affection of Pope Francis when they were just 12-years-old.
Amalia Damonte, 76, same age as the pontiff, grew up four doors down from Jorge Mario Bergoglio, first Latin American Pope, in Buenos Aires.
Damonte admitted that she was the childhood crush of the supreme priest way back late 1940’s. She even received a letter from Pope Francis declaring his undying love for her.
“He wrote me a letter telling me that one day he would like to marry me,” she told Argentinian TV. “I remember perfectly that he had drawn me a little white house, which had a red roof, and it said “this is what I’ll buy when we marry.”
“He said that if I didn’t say yes, he would have to become a priest,” Damonte, who still lives in the same neighborhood, added. “Luckily for him, I said no.”
‘He had a crush on me, you know. We used to play on the streets here. It was a quiet neighborhood then, and, well, he was very nice.’
With these remarks, the Argentine media called her the pope’s “girlfriend.” She however downgraded it and said that it was just a “childish thing, nothing more.”
Besides her parents never approved of the budding romance and did their best to keep them apart, Damonte said.
It can be recalled that Pope Francis once hinted in an interview that heartbreak had driven him to seek solace in the cloth.
“She was one of a group of friends with whom I used to go dancing. Then I discovered my religious vocation,” the pope said reminiscing about a girlfriend with whom he often danced the tango.
Damonte has moved away from the Buenos Aires neighborhood and got married later on. She only returned to her parents’ home years after. Although she followed Pope Francis’ rise through the church, she never tried to speak with him again.
“He is a good man, the son of a working class family,” she said. “I hope he can achieve all the good that he holds in his heart.