Pope Francis has long lamented that he could not walk in the city without attention like he did before he became pope. But he seems to have retained his sense of humor when he was caught on camera making an unannounced visit to a record shop in Rome this week.
Francis wrote a note to a Vatican reporter that was in the right place at the right time on Tuesday evening when the Pope walked out of the Vatican to bless the newly renovated stereo sound shop near the Pantheon.
Javier Martزnez-Brookel, director of the Rome Reports News Agency, filmed Francis leaving the store, which went viral and was reported in the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
Martنیnez-Brookel later wrote a note to the pope, explaining that he was not a paparazzi and regretting that Francis could no longer pay attention to anyone, but added that the story was tragic. Provided an essential food of good news for the world.
Frances replied, “I will not deny that it is (unfortunately) that after taking all precautions, a journalist was waiting for someone at the taxi line,” Frances replied. But he added: “You can’t lose your sense of humor.”
Writing in his trademark short script, Francis reiterated that what he remembers the most about becoming pope is no longer able to walk, as he did in Buenos Aires. Former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was known for taking public transport around the Argentine capital, avoiding the private cars that fellow cardinals usually used to go to parishes. He became pope in 2013.
Francis admitted that Martinez Brookel was only working as a journalist when he recorded the incident. “Thanks for doing your job, even if it got the Pope in trouble,” he quipped.
The owners of the store later told The Associated Press that Francis had arrived unannounced around 7 p.m., when he told them during a last meeting at the Vatican that they would visit. “He went to the store and it was a wonderful meeting. And as he promised, he blessed the store,” said shop owner Tiziana Esposito.
Co-owner Danilo Genio said Frances was a longtime client who used to come to Rome for meetings at the Vatican when he was pastor, archbishop and then cardinal in Buenos Aires.
He said that when he came to Rome to visit the Vatican, he first came here to buy some presents.
Frances, who grew up listening to opera on the radio and likes Tango, Mozart and Wagner, did not buy anything this time. But the vendors gave him a CD of classical music.