Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Out of the blue, pope dials strangers

VATICAN CITY — A word of warning to those who write personal notes to Pope Francis: He might just call you back.

A handful of strangers have received papal phone calls out of the blue after writing him or suffering some personal tragedy.

After another random phone call from the pope this week, Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper offered etiquette tips for the lucky recipients, proposing conversation starters and no-go areas on its front page Friday.

Topping the list: Be ready, especially if the landline rings.

The 76-year-old Francis has a fondness for making calls the old-fashioned way, using landlines and placing the calls himself, often surprising recipients by simply announcing "It's the pope."

Francis has called an Italian man whose brother was killed and a Colombian woman who works in Rome to thank her for a book.

The recipient of this week's call, 19-year-old student Stefano Cabizza, said he received the call after leaving a letter for Francis following his Mass at Castel Gandolfo on Aug. 15. He declined to say what he had written.

Out of the blue, pope dials strangers 08/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Authorities ID man killed in Clearwater Beach boating crash; Girl, 4, still in critical condition

    Briefs

    An Altamonte Springs man died and a 4-year-old girl remains in critical condition Sunday morning after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.

  3. 'If anyone can hear us … help.' Puerto Rico's mayors describe 'horror in the streets'

    World

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed "save me, save me," using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town's mayor said.

  4. My AP Top 25 ballot: FSU out, USF, Florida Gators back in

    Blogs

    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times. Maybe he's right.

  5. Forecast: Scattered thunderstorms in Tampa Bay; Maria could affect Carolinas

    Weather

    Scattered thunderstorms will threaten the Tampa Bay area Sunday, but most of the area will see sunshine.

    Scattered thunderstorms threaten Tampa Bay on Sunday. [Courtesy 10News WTSP]