A woman in Argentina says that her rejection of a young male suitor more than 60 years ago, drove the heartbroken boy to join the priesthood. Oh, and his name just happened to be Jorge Bergoglio.
After Bergoglio's ascention to Bishop of Rome this week, the Argentine media quickly tracked down Amalia Damonte, a 76-year-old woman who grew up in the same Buenos Aires neighborhood as Pope Francis. When they were around 12 or 13, he apparently developed a crush on the young woman, at one point writing her a letter to confess his love. Damonte says that in the letter, Young Jorge said he would marry her and buy her a house (he even drew a picture of the house), but "if I didn't say yes, he would have to become a priest." We all know how that turned out.
Obviously, she didn't say yes, at least in part because her parents forbid it. She says her father smacked her when he found the note and kept her from ever seeing Jorge again. Fast forward 60 years or so, and Damonte turned on the TV to find out that he was definitely a man of his word.
Cardinal Bergoglio has said in previous interviews that he had a young lady friend he used to do the tango with, but Damonte confirms that it was a totally innocent childhood crush. Of course, not everybody's childhood crush grows up to be the leader of a billion Catholics