Three relatives of Pope Francis died on Tuesday 19th August in a car crash in Argentina. The accident happened in a highway that divides the cities of Cordoba and Rosario.
The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, 35, remains in critical condition in hospital. He is the son of the Pope's late brother, Alberto Bergoglio.
Through a statement the Vatican' spokesperson, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said that the Pope is aware of the tragedy. He asked those who share his suffering to join him in prayer.
A call came in just after midnight about an accident involving a cargo truck and a Chevy Spin. The Chevy driver - Francis' 35-year-old nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio - was in intensive care in an induced coma after suffering a variety of injuries including liver trauma and a fractured femur, according to police. Bergoglio's wife, 36-year-old Carmona Valeria, and their eight-month-old son Jose died at the scene. Bergoglio's two-year-old, Antonio, later died at the hospital, police added.
At his weekly general audience on Wednesday, the Holy Father said:
"I thank you for the prayers and condolences for what happened in my family. Even the Pope has a family. We are 5 siblings, I have 16 nieces and nephews. One of these nephews had a car accident. His wife died as well as two young children; one was 2 years old and the other only a few months old. And he right now is in critical condition. I thank you so much, so much, for your condolences and prayers."