"Your father's health and mine are much discussed nowadays," said Pope, Pius XI last week to Edda, Countess Ciano (née Mussolini).
"News springs up from everywhere explaining his and my grave diseases," continued His Holiness. "Indeed yesterday I was reported dying of a heart attack. But God's goodness has protected us both."
After more of such informal chat* Count & Countess Ciano received personally the Apostolic Benediction, plus a special blessing for the Dictator, his wife, their sons (three) and baby daughter.
Next day Daughter Edda sailed for Shanghai, where her husband will...