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Before inaugural Mass, Pope speaks by phone to crowd in Buenos Aires

Catholic World News - March 19, 2013

Pope Francis made an unexpected phone call to his native Argentina early on Tuesday morning, to speak to thousands of people who had gathered in the main square of Buenos Aires to watch the inaugural Mass of his pontificate on large-screen video monitors.

The crowd in the Plaza de Mayo had assembled in the early hours of the morning, since the inaugural Mass, scheduled for 9:30 am Rome time, would be at 5:30 am in Buenos Aires. Shortly after 3:30 am, the speakers in the square began carrying the voice of the city’s former archbishop, prompting a roar of applause.

An Argentine newspaper reported that the Pope had placed the call to the rector of the cathedral, who was then able to patch the call to the Plaza de Mayo. “I want to ask for us to walk together, to care for one another, for you to care for each other,” the Pope said. "Don't forget this bishop, who though far away, cares so much for you,” the Pope said. “Pray for me," he requested, before giving the crowd his blessing.

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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Mar. 20, 2013 1:01 PM ET USA

    I hope Pope Francis makes a phone call or sends a letter to be read this Palm Sunday at his childhood parish, The Basilica of San Jose de Flores, where he was scheduled to say Mass this coming Palm Sunday. It was in this very church, in the confessional, that he discerned that God was calling him to the Priesthood.

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