By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
1/12/2014 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Sometimes the most marvelous things happen naturally. Priest FabiÃ¡n BÃ¡ez from Buenos Aires was in Rome to see his old friend, Pope Francis, who he knew in Argentina. The pope recognized his old friend and said "Come! Hop in!" and gave BÃ¡ez a lift in his official Popemobile. He was delighted to share his experience with reporters -
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Francis spotted BÃ¡ez among many faces in St. Peter's Square for yesterday's General Audience. Lifting BÃ¡ez into the Popemobile, Francis said laughing, "This picture's going to make it round the world!"
When asked how the incident came about, BÃ¡ez replied, "I only arrived in Rome on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning I had no way of attending the Pope's catechesis because I didn't know where I could get hold of the admission tickets. So I went to the Square and stood behind the crowd control barriers hoping to see him go by in the Popemobile.
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"When he went past he saw me saw me and recognized me. I shouted really loud but it's hard to make oneself heard. I was surprised at how much affection people showed the Pope. He saw me and said to me: 'What are you doing here?' I shouted out that I had come to see him. The Popemobile continued then turned around and stopped. He called out to me, got me to hop over the barriers and said to me: 'Come! Hop in!'
"I thought he was going to get me a seat or a better place further on but instead he said: 'Come! Hop into the Popemobile!' I greeted him, gave him a hug and got in. I couldn't believe what was happening," BÃ¡ez said.
"He laughed and said to me: 'This picture's going to make it round the world.' I had slight difficulty jumping over the barrier so he made a joke about it.
"'Next time we'll make the barrier's smaller,' he said, or something to that effect. He was very kind; he let me into the vehicle and asked for a seat to be placed near his. Then he said: 'Do you have to go?' to which I said I would stay until the end. He replied: 'OK, I'll speak to you in a bit.'
"He did. We talked for a few minutes, he asked me about some people we both knew and we chatted about some personal things. I haven't seen or spoken to him since he became Pope so it was a pretty exciting moment."
It was yet another example of the new pope's accessibility. His warmth and outreach with disregard, some feel, for security, has made Pope Francis a most unorthodox - but widely loved Pontiff.
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