Pope Francis made his first appearance on the world stage shortly after his election, when he stood gravely on the balcony and stared out at the vast crowd of well wishers in St. Peter's Square. He said, "Good evening," and then stunned his audience when he said, "pray for me."
He turned down the papal apartments, and booked a permanent room in the Vatican residence where he could rub elbows with the staff and visitors from near and far.
He routinely offers spiritual counsel and prayers via the telephone, sends alms to the poor, and goes around the Vatican turning off lights.
Last year, during Holy Thursday, he visited prisoners in a local detention center, and washed the feel of a...READ MORE