Pope Francis Hangs Out With Pilgrims, Gives 1st Angelus

Makes surprise appearance at Vatican side gate

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 17, 2013 6:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Those looking for pomp and circumstance from Pope Francis' first Sunday as pontiff got instead an eyeful of his humble, man-of-the-people charm offensive. Ahead of his first Angelus blessing, Francis slipped out a side gate of the Vatican and mingled with startled pilgrims, even kissing babies and asking one, "Are you a good boy?" and joking, "Are you sure?" Francis then headed not to St. Peter's Basilica, but to the Vatican's tiny church, where he gave a five-minute impromptu homily, reports the AP. He greeted church-goers one by one as they left, notes the BBC, asking them to pray for him.

The theme continued with the pope's first Angelus blessing, which was delivered at the noon hour from his studio window to a crowd of some 100,000 and shouts of "Francesco!" Instead of reading a written speech, Francis again spoke off the cuff, about God's power to forgive. Afterward, he sent his first tweet from his @Pontifex account: "Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me. Pope Francis."

Pope Francis greets faithful at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013. Pope Francis began his first Sunday as pontiff by making an impromptu appearance from a side gate of the Vatican.
Pope Francis greets faithful at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013. Pope Francis began his first Sunday as pontiff by making an impromptu appearance from a side gate of the Vatican.   (AP Photo/Antonello Nusca)
Pope Francis kisses a crucifix, at the Vatican  Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis kisses a crucifix, at the Vatican Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Pope Francis greets faithful at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis greets faithful at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Antonello Nusca)
People gather at St. Peter's Square following the Angelus by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
People gather at St. Peter's Square following the Angelus by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Pope Francis greets faithful at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis greets faithful at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Antonello Nusca)
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis speaks to the crowd in St. Peter's Square before saying the Angelus prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis speaks to the crowd in St. Peter's Square before saying the Angelus prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Pope Francis speaks to the crowd in St. Peter's Square before saying the Angelus prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis speaks to the crowd in St. Peter's Square before saying the Angelus prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Pope Francis waves before delivering his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Pope Francis waves before delivering his Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Crowds gather on the Via della Conciliazione outside of St. Peter's Square as they wait for Pope Francis to conduct the Angelus at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Crowds gather on the Via della Conciliazione outside of St. Peter's Square as they wait for Pope Francis to conduct the Angelus at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Tim Donnelly)
Papal employees set up the microphone for the Angelus prayer by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square,  Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Papal employees set up the microphone for the Angelus prayer by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Crowds fill St. Peter's Square as they wait for the Angelus prayer with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Crowds fill St. Peter's Square as they wait for the Angelus prayer with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Sunday, March 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
The moon is seen behind a dome of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, March 16, 2013.
The moon is seen behind a dome of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, March 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
10%
10%
2%
78%
0%
0%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!