Traglia, now 69 years old, is the niece of Cardinal Luigi Traglia, who in turn, in the 1970s, was the vicar of Pope Paul VI. In Rome. When she was 27, she had met Castro by the intermediation of his relative, the secretary at the Cuban embassy in Rome, whom Traglia had met and befriended. For years she had been Fidel's lover, said Traglia, who spoke of a "great love" until the end of her life and lived in Cuba for a long time.
On her urging, a parish was opened in Havana, where she had attended Mass every Sunday afternoon, said Traglia. After the service Fidel was waiting for her in front of the church door in a car with the number plate "Comandante 1." She had also unintentionally introduced a meeting between Castro and Cardinal Agostino Casaroli. When she was invited by the nuncio at that time, Castro had simply come along, causing the Vatican diplomat to be embarrassed, as there were no instructions for this situation. However, a "mutual sympathy" had developed immediately between the two men.
Traglia traveled to Cuba a year and a half ago, when Castro was already in bad health. By May 2016 there had also been regular telephone contact with the ex-dictator. On her last encounter she found Castro "very changed", said Traglia. "One day he told me: I often think of your words, referring to my Christian faith."