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Pope calls mother of young man that died after World Youth Day

by Sophie Drew

The mother of a young man that died of a bacterium infection just days after attending World Youth Day has been consoled by the Pope via a phone call.

City-wide mourning was proclaimed in the province of Varese following the death of 24 year old local Luca Re Sartu. 

Just days prior to his death, Luca had attended the prominent Catholic festival World Youth Day, attended by the Pontiff. 

Known candidly as “The Catholic Woodstock”, festivalgoers gather from across the globe every three years. It’s celebrated on a diocesan level annually. 

This year, the event was held in Lisbon, Portugal. 

Prior to the funeral mass held for Luca on Friday, Pope Francis made an unexpected phone call with Luca’s mother. 

The mother's verbatim words," Bishop Raimondi told Vatican News, "were, 'When you see him [the Pope], thank him for his exquisite kindness.

“'He was moved with me, he cried with me, and above all he was like a father. He comforted me as if he were my father.'”

Luca’s funeral mass was attended by friends wearing World Youth Day t-shirts, as well as civic leaders and family members. 

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