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Close papal aide dies in road accident

Manuela Camagni, one of the four “memores domini” – consecrated laity who help to care for the Holy Father – was killed last night in a road accident, Italian news agencies are reporting.

Il Velino reports that Manuela was hit by a car yesterday at 11.40pm in a Rome suburb while returning from a dinner with friends. Rescued by the driver of the car, doctors operated on her head injuries but could not save her.

Manuela was part of a team of “guardian angels” who take care of the Pope. They include Loredana, Cristina and Carmela – the three other “memores domini” – and Msgrs. Georg Gaenswain and Alfred Xuereb.

Prior to working at the Apostolic Palace, she served the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, when he was Bishop of Tunis.

The Pope refers to his close team of helpers in the book “Light of the World” as his “papal family”. As well as Mass and Evening Prayer, he says they also dine and watch movies together, as well as celebrate and exchange gifts at Christmas and on feast days.

Members of the association “memores domini”, part of the Communion and Liberation movement, follow a vocation of total dedication to God while living in the world.