According to Catholic News Agency (CNA), Pope Francis had some unfinished business in Argentina to take care of this week:cancelling his daily newspaper subscription.
CNA reports that on Monday, the new pontiff surprised the owner of a kiosk in Buenos Aires with a phone call to say that he will no longer need his morning paper delivered each day.
Daniel Del Regno, whose father owns the kiosk, answered the phone to hear a voice say, “Hi, Daniel, it’s Cardinal Jorge.”
Del Regno says he thought the call to be a friend’s prank.
“Seriously, it’s Jorge Bergoglio, I’m calling you from Rome,” said the pope.
“I was in shock, I broke down in tears and didn’t know what to say,” Del Regno told Argentina’s La Nacion daily newspaper. “He thanked me for delivering the paper all this time and sent best wishes to my family.”
According to Del Regno, when then-Cardinal Bergoglio left Argentina for the conclave in Rome, he asked him if he thought he would be elected the next pontiff.
“That is too hot to touch. See you in 20 days, keep delivering the paper,” Del Regno said was the cardinal’s response. “And the rest is, well, history,” Del Regno said.
“I told him to take care and that I would miss him,” Del Regno continued. “I asked him if there would ever be the chance to see him here again. He said that for the time being that would be very difficult, but that he would always be with us.”
Del Regno said that, before hanging up, Pope Francis asked him for his prayers.
Luis Del Regno, Daniel’s father, said he and his son delivered the newspaper to the former cardinal’s home every day.
On Sundays, however, the elder Del Regno said that Bergoglio “would come by the kiosk at 5:30 a.m. and 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.”
According to Del Regno, at the end of each month, Bergoglio would bring back all the rubber bands that were placed around the newspapers that were delivered to him.
“At the end of the month, he always brought them back to me. All 30 of them!” he said.
“In June he baptized my grandson, it was an amazing feeling,” said Del Regno.
Speaking about the pope’s simplicity, Del Regno said, “I know what he’s like. He’s one of a kind.”