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The door bell rings and it is the Pope! He leaves the Vatican territory for a surprise visit

2016-07-14

In this office, located just outside of the Vatican, the personal is still in shock after the unexpected visit they received on Wednesday.

LINA TENTORI
Pontifical Commission for Latin America
"Someone rang the door bell for the Commission office and I opened it. Upon opening, I was speechless. It was unreal. A man dressed in white was at the door. I was immobile. I felt pure excitement, only emotion. 'Your Holiness.'This is such a wonderful surprise.'” 

Pope Francis had gone to the dentist in the morning at the clinic located inside the Vatican. As they were about to leave, the Pope suggested a change of plans. He decided to go to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, a place he often visited when he was a cardinal and that is a few hundred meters from St. Peter's Basilica. The vice president of the department, Guzmán Carriquiry, is an old friend. 

GUZMÁN CARRIQUIRY
Vice President Pontifical Commission for Latin America
"I was in this office. I am opening the door and I see the Pope. 'Sir, do you have a moment to talk?' I replied: 'No, you're not on my agenda. Please, leave and come back tomorrow It was all a continuous exchange of smiles and jokes.”

The Pope was reunited with him for about thirty minutes and then he spoke with workers from the commission.

ANDREA ROMERO
Pontifical Commission for Latin America
"He sat there with everyone in the room, with great serenity and tranquility as if time didn't matter. He had some coffee and we asked him about World Youth Day... I was unable to phrase a sentence. The words would not come out as I starred at him in shock. It was like a dream.” 

FR. HUMBERTO GONZALEZ 
Pontifical Commission for Latin America
"The visit lasted about 35 to 40 minutes, but it felt like it lasted all morning. He certainly made our whole day that much better. It was a contagious feeling.” 

It is not the first time he has discreetly left the Vatican, although in this case, his departure caused less commotion than when he visited the optician. On that occasion, he came into this simple establishment but in a very busy part of the city and his presence, of course, did not go unnoticed.


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