Lifestyle & Belief

'Hello, it's the Pope calling:' Yes, Pope Francis is phoning the masses


A tourist guide talks on a cellphone at the Trevi Fountain on March 16, 2013 in Rome, Italy.


Peter Macdiarmid

Pope Francis has been impressing the world with his informal, simple style since his election in March.

Most recently, the 76-year-old pontiff has taken to calling a handful of strangers, some who have written him and others who have had a personal tragedy.

Using a landline, Francis often surprises his recipients by placing the calls himself and offering a simple greeting: "It's the Pope."

In the past he has phoned a Colombian woman to thank her for a book she sent and an Italian man whose lost his brother.

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This week he called 19-year-old Stefano Cabizza who left a letter for the Pope after mass at Castel Gandolfo last week, according to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper. 

Cabizza told the paper that the Pope insisted the university student from Padua use the informal Italian word "tu" with him, explaining “even Jesus and the apostles used the tu.”

"I couldn't believe it. We laughed and joked for eight minutes," Cabizza told Italian newspaper Il Gazzettino, according to The Guardian. "It was certainly the best day of my life."

Cabizza said Francis blessed him and asked for his prayers.

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