The Head of the Catholic Church is a real early bird, a morning person. His alarm clock goes off at 4:45 a.m. calling for the start of the day. As it has been released in his travel itinerary, the Pope leaves for the Budapest International Eucharistic Congress’ Opening Mass in the morning hours. The papal flight departs from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 6:00 a.m.
The suite no. 201
Unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis has decided not to move to the pontifical apartments in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Popes, rather he has chosen to reside in the suite no. 201 of the St. Martha’s House in the Vatican City that hosted him during the recent conclave, which has ended in his election to Pope. Pope Francis lives on the second floor, in a two-room suite - a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom - in a building located right behind a gasoline station. “I like and I’m used to being with my people, moreover, the apostolic residence is too big and too empty.” – explained Pope Francis his decision.
Lunch in the canteen
It was Saint Pope John Paul II who initiated to transform the St. Martha’s House into a residence hotel for members of the clergy paying a visit to the Vatican. Besides Pope Francis’ apartment, the building houses 106 suites and 22 rooms that mainly serve as a residence for the staff assigned to the Vatican Offices. The morning masses are celebrated by Pope Francis in the Chapel of the St. Martha’s House. The Pontiff takes his meals in the House’s canteen, however he also likes going out with the other hotel guests for a meal in one of the nearby buffet or bistro terraces.
The papal humour
Once a young Cardinal noted with astonishment that the Pontiff himself entered the residence elevator he was taking. He let out a cry of surprise: Oh, my Holy Father!... Oh my Holy Son! – replied Pope Francis.
Morning mass with handshakes
Each morning at 7:00 a.m. Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in the St. Martha’s chapel, an event that is very much favoured by both locals and foreigners. It often happens that at the end of the service the Holy Father goes to a seat in the last row of chairs, prays together with the believers, and finally shakes hands with everyone before leaving the chapel.
Hallo! Pope Francis speaking!
The Pontiff has his breakfast at the House’s cafeteria, at his usual table. As for his daily programs he sets himself his own agenda of the day. Many times he books his appointments over the phone, calling his meeting partners personally. Lunch is followed by a short post-lunch nap before returning again to his papal duties in the afternoon. He closes the day at 10:00 p.m. after the evening prayer. Pope Francis does his best to live a simple, ordinary life as much as possible. By now he does not feel himself overlocked, as it is revealed to a journalist. “At the beginning I had to face some rules – “The Pope is not allowed to go, the Pope cannot do this and that…..”- some of these walls have been knocked down by now. Just to sample it: whenever I approach the elevator, someone suddenly jumps there saying: “the Pontiff is not allowed to use the elevator alone on his own.” Then I answer: please go back to your place, I’m going to use it on my own! It’s as simple as that. All in all I have an ordinary life.”
To attend in person the Holy Mass celebrated by the Holy Father, consult our website for registration, and come. Date and place: September 12, Heroes’ Square.
Source: repubblica.it, Magyar Kurír