Source: A Friar’s Life
by Pino Corrias
The surprising greatness of this new Pope Francis is in the small things. For example, the ability to say, “Brothers and sisters, good evening,” instead of appealing to the centuries, the Scriptures or the universe to present himself to the world. To wear an iron cross of instead of a golden one. To wash the feet of the prisoners.
Or yet, to care for the Swiss Guard who guards the door of his apartment in Casa Santa Marta every night until dawn.
A few days ago, at dawn, the time the Pope wakes up, he came out to the corridor, and he found in front of his door the sentry, a Swiss Guard standing with his halberd at attention.
He asked him: “And what are you doing here? Have you been up all night?”
“Yes,” replied the guard with deference and a bit surprised.
“On your feet?”
“Your Holiness, my duty since I took over from my companion.”
“And aren’t you tired?”
“It’s my duty Your Holiness; I should watch for your safety.”
Pope Francis looked at him again with kindness, went back to his suite and after a minute he came out carrying a chair: “At least sit down and rest.”
The guard rolled his eyes and answered: “Santo Padre, forgive me, but I cannot! The regulations do not allow that.”
“Orders from my captain, Your Holiness.”
The Pope smiled, “Oh, really? Well, I’m the Pope and I order you to sit down.”
So, caught between the regulations and the Pope, the Swiss Guard (so much for the halberd) chose the chair.
The Pope returned to his apartment.
After a couple of minutes, the Pope came back to the Swiss Guard, still obediently seated on the chair, carrying “panino con marmellata” (Italian bread with jam) which he had prepared. Before the soldier could say anything, the Holy Father, exhibiting his Argentinean smile, told the Swiss Guard, “With all the hours spent standing on guard you must be a bit hungry.” The Swiss Guard had no time to object because the Pope right away wished him a good bite: “Bon appetit, brother.”
May God preserve him for many years.
NOTE by Pino Corrias:
I feel I need to make mention that although this story is absolutely wonderful and receiving a lot of attention on my blog, I keep searching to find some official confirmation that this did actually take place and so far have not been able to locate anything online. This recounting has gone viral since what seems to be first appearing online around April 3, but I’ve yet to track down the original news source. That doesn’t change what a great story it is and it is certainly in line with the actions of our Holy Father, but the former journalist in me felt the need to offer that clarification. I’ll keep looking!