A woman kisses the coffin of 9-year-old Giulia Rinaldo as it is carried outside the gymnasium at the end of the state funeral service.
Bishop D'Ercole recalled the heartbreaking story of Giulia, whose embrace apparently allowed her younger sister Giorgia to survive.
He said 15 hours after the quake struck Wednesday, he returned to the church in Pescara Del Tronto to recover its crucifix. Close by, firefighters were using their hands to dig out the two sisters.
"The older one, Giulia, was sprawled over the smaller one, Giorgia. Giulia, dead, Giorgia, alive. They were in an embrace," D'Ercole said.
Giulia was among those buried Saturday, while her younger sister had her fourth birthday at a hospital, trying to recover from the traumatizing ordeal.