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Pope Francis surprises Vatican workers at lunch, schedules U.S. visit

Pope Francis surprises Vatican workers at lunch, the same day as a U.S. trip for 2015 is announced.
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Francis prides himself with self-effacing behavior. The Pontiff sat down to lunch on Friday with employees of the Vatican’s canteen at a large cafeteria-style table reported Vatican Radio. This surprise and humble act comes on the same day as a United States trip for 2015 was announced. What does the leader of the Catholic Church eat and exactly when will North America get to meet him?

Around noon Rome time Pope Francis shocked workers of the Vatican canteen as he took a tray and cutlery and entered the food line to select his lunch. He ordered pasta sans the sauce, and kept to a meatless Friday with cod and grilled tomatoes. The Pontiff then joined a group of Vatican employees at a long rectangle table for lunchtime conversation.

Chef Franco Pai’ni explained Pope Francis’ lunch visit “like a thunderbolt out of the blue.” The Vatican’s cook reported His Holiness was introduced to the entire staff and took an interest in their lives and work. The Pontiff then complimented them on the food, gave a blessing and posed for a group photograph, small acts of kindness that speak volumes to the world.

The Catholic News Service also reported on Friday that Pope Francis has agreed to a United States visit in September of 2015, although an official announcement has yet to be released from the Vatican. Charles J. Chaput, Philadelphia Archbishop, told the Catholic News Service the Holy Father has accepted his invitation to attend the World Meeting of Families next year, which is scheduled in Philly September 22-27, with Pope Francis allegedly in attendance that Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The statement was made on Thursday during Archbishop Chaput’s homily of the opening Mass of the Tekawitha Conference in Fargo, North Dakota.

A press release has yet to confirm Pope Francis’ United States visit. However, reports claim the Pontiff is also considering stops in New York, including the United Nations and Washington. The Catholic News Service stated a confirmation could come six months prior to the event.

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