Is there a Maltese connection with the new pope?
The question arises with the publication of a photo by the Associated Press, shows the pope’s father (the young boy in the picture) posing with his own parents, named as Juan Bergoglio and Margarita Vasallo, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The pope’s grandmother was therefore a Vasallo.
Vasallo is a common surname originating in Spain and Italy, from where many migrants left for Latin America over the centuries and also from where the Maltese surname Vassallo is also believed to have been derived.
Vassallo is in fact one of the spelling variations of the same surname, which also include Vassalli, Vasallo and Vassello.
Pope Francis – previously Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio - was installed as the new head of the Church on Tuesday.