15th Mar 2013 9:26am | By Dan Thorne
The new pope's childhood sweetheart Amalia Damonte has revealed that her rejection of his marriage proposal led the now Pope Francis I to devote his life to the Catholic church.
Damonte, now 76 years old, said that after she rejected Jorge Bergoglio's offer of marriage, he dramatically declared "If I can't marry you, I'll become a priest."
The pope's former girlfriend recounted that he had sent her a love letter in which he'd illustrated their life together: "My father had hit me because I had dared to write a note to a boy.
"He had drawn for me a house which had a red roof and said that it was the house he was going to buy for me when we were married."
The Argentinian pair were just 12 years old at the time.
"I never saw him after that - my parents kept me away from him and did everything possible to separate us." recalled Damonte.
"He is a good man, the son of a working-class family," she told TV news reporters "I hope he can achieve all the good that he holds in his heart."
The new pope's sister María Elena Bergoglio told the Daily Telegraph "He didn't want to be Pope and when we chatted privately about it, we joked at the prospect and he would say 'no, please no',"
She spoke of her pride in her brother's achievement and is convinced that he was happy with his challenging new role "The expression on his face spoke of a fullness of heart."
Main image via Getty
There's nothing we like more at TNT Towers than journalists showing a disregard for...
It was the most tense scene in Jurassic Park - until now.
If you're not a confident pedestrian, rejoice - Boris Johnson and Transport for London have...
Are you loath to leave your lilo on holiday, or do you go see the scenery...through your camera’s...
Malibue, a seven-month-old Staffordshire terrier puppy, has returned home after an epic outback...