When the new pope picked up the phone to cancel his morning paper delivery, he gave the owner of a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk the shock of his life.
The kiosk owner’s son, Daniel Del Regno, answered the phone to hear Pope Francis say, “Hi, Daniel. It’s Cardinal Jorge."
Initially, Del Regno thought a friend playing a joke, reports the NY Post.
“Seriously, it’s Jorge Bergoglio, I’m calling you from Rome,” the pontiff insisted.
“I was in shock. I broke down in tears and didn’t know what to say,” said Del Regno. “He thanked me for delivering the paper all this time and sent best wishes to my family.”
Francis has already earned a reputation for being down-to-earth. On his first day as the pope, he stopped by his hotel himself to pick up his luggage and pay the bill. And unlike his more elegantly dressed predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, he wears a simple white cassock.
Del Regno said that before the cardinal flew to Rome for the conclave, he asked him if he thought he would be elected pope.
“He answered me, ‘That is too hot to touch. See you in 20 days, keep delivering the paper.’ And the rest is, well, history,” he said.
“I told him to take care and that I would miss him.”
“I asked him if there would ever be the chance to see him here again,” Del Regno added. “He said that for the time being, that would be very difficult, but that he would always be with us.”
Del Regno said the pope also asked him for his prayers before hanging up the phone.
The kiosk owner, Luis Del Regno, said that the former cardinal had the paper delivered to his home every day and would drop by the kiosk at 5:30 a.m. on Sundays to buy La Nacion.
“He would chat with us for a few minutes and then take the bus to Lugano, where he would serve mate (tea) to young people and the sick,” said Del Regno.
He also recalls how the cardinal would return the rubber bands that he put around the newspapers to keep them from being blown away.
“At the end of the month, he always brought them back to me. All 30 of them!” Del Regno said.
“In June he baptized my grandson, it was an amazing feeling,” Del Regno said. “I know what he’s like. He’s one of a kind.”