When 19-year-old Stefano Cabizza wrote a letter to Pope Francis a few weeks ago describing his hopes and dreams about finding a job, he never thought the phone would ring and the pontiff himself would be on the line.
In fact, the Pope had to call twice, because Cabizza wasn’t home on the first attempt.
"I couldn't believe it,” Cabizza told The Telegraph. "He asked me to pray for him and then he gave me a blessing. It was the most beautiful day of my life."
Cabizza, a devout Catholic and an information technology student at a school near Padua in northern Italy, had given his letter to a senior cleric during a papal mass in Castel Gandolfo on Aug. 15, the Times reports.
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During the call, the head of the Catholic Church encouraged the young man to address him informally by using the pronoun “tu” instead of “lei.” Pope Francis requested they address each other on a first-name basis since that was the way Jesus and the Apostles spoke to one another.
“They were friends as we are friends now, and I am on first-name basis with my friends,” the Pope said to Cabizza, according to Il Gazzetino.
This isn’t the first time the Pope has picked up the phone.
Pope Francis reportedly called his newspaper stand in Buenos Aires to cancel his subscription, his shoemaker to tell him to forget the papal red loafers and continue making his black orthotics, and a receptionist at a Jesuit headquarters in Rome when he was looking for a Jesuit superior, the Associated Press reports.
Many thought the person claiming to be the pope on the other end was a prank caller. "I was in shock; I broke down in tears and didn't know what to say," Del Regno, the Argentine newsstand owner, told La Nacion, an Argentine daily. "He thanked me for delivering the paper all this time and sent best wishes to my family."