A Papal Connection

Andrea “Drew” Bacigalupa at the Vatican with Pope John Paul II.

An on-going papal connection was ever-present in the life of the late artist Andrea “Drew” Bacigalupa. The artist died in March 2015 at the age of 91. It began on August 13, 1969 when Bacigalupa and his family were vacationing in Italy in the town of Castle Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence.  His daughter, Daria, was two months old on the very day the family attended a general audience for Pope Paul VI. In the same manner of the Italians Bacigalupa lifted Daria high above his head, hoping the Pope might acknowledge her from a distance. To his surprise she was taken from his arms and carried to the Pope. When he blessed her flashbulbs went off all over the hall.

Blessings of Health

In 1986 Bacigalupa had a second papal encounter. He travelled to Rome with his sister Marie Claire who had suffered a life-threatening stroke. While at St. Peter’s Square they were seated in an area designated for the sick as they waited to see Pope John Paul II. When he passed he greeted Bacigalupa and shook his hand. Then he laid his hand on Marie Claire’s head and gave her an apostolic blessing. She lived twenty more years and attributed her extra time on Earth to the papal blessing. 


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