On September 1, Pope Francis apologized to the crowd that gathered in St. Peter's Square for keeping them waiting before hearing his noon prayer. However, Francis had a good excuse. The pontiff had been stuck in the Vatican elevator and now the topic is trending on Bing.
"I must apologize for the delay," said the Pope, who explained that because of an unexplained voltage drop in the elevator, the lift came to a complete and utter stop. Consequently, he was trapped inside the elevator for a solid 25 minutes.
At that point, firefighters came to save the day, causing Pope Francis to rejoice.
"Thank God the Fire Brigade came. Let's hear it for the Fire Brigade!"Because of these civil servants, the Pope was only late for his date with the thousands who had gathered in Vatican City to hear him speak by a mere seven minutes. Many seemed worried since he has never been late for this weekly appearance.
In fact, there was an audible sigh of relief as the window of his apartment flew open, revealing the 82-year-old religious leader standing in his usual spot in front of his lectern, notes in hand.
He did not seem fazed in the least by the incident that made him tardy. In fact, he was even smiling and seemed joyous as he started to address the crowd.Thankfully, Pope Francis was released from the elevator, unscathed. Besides making his regular Sunday crowd wait and worry, the pontiff has been scheduled to leave the Vatican in a couple of days for his 31st apostolic journey, stated Vatican News on Sunday. His destination includes three African nations: Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius.
In advance of his visit, the Pope sent a video message to the people of Madagascar to give thanks for getting ready for his visit.
"Speaking in Italian, he particularly thanks them for their 'prayer, whether personal, in families, in parish communities or in hospitals and prisons.' Stressing that prayer knows no boundaries, he says, 'when I am in Madagascar, even if I can visit only a few places, with prayer I will reach everyone, and I will implore God's blessing for all.'"The Pope is scheduled to arrive from Maputo, Mozambique into Antananarivo, Madagascar on September 7. While he only plans to be there for a total of 86 hours, he is set to give a total of seven different speeches. Two are homilies and one is a general greeting. Then, on September 9, he will fly to Mauritius.
Hopefully, Francis will not need to negotiate any elevators after he hits the ground in Africa to speak to the people of three different nations.