Wednesday 20 March 2019

Pope Francis confesses to stealing dead confessor's rosary beads from casket

Pope Francis. Reuters
Pope Francis. Reuters
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Pope Francis has confessed to stealing the rosary cross of his late confessor and wearing it under his cassock to this day.

The Pope admitted to taking the cross from his late confessor’s casket during an informal chat with Roman priests on Thursday, Associated Press report from the Vatican.

Pope Francis was telling Roman the story of the ‘great confessor’ of Buenos Aires who had heard confessions from most of the diocesan priests as well as from Pope John Paul II when he visited Argentina.

Francis told the priests of how he prayed by his open casket and was shocked that nobody else had brought flowers.

''This man forgave the sins of all the priests of Buenos Aires, but not a single flower ...?" Francis said.

He told of how he placed flowers in the open casket and noticed the priest still had his rosary cross in his hand.

"And immediately there came to mind the thief we all have inside ourselves and while I arranged the flowers I took the cross and with just a bit of force I removed it," he said, showing with his hands how he pulled the cross off the rosary. "And in that moment I looked at him and I said 'Give me half your mercy."'

The Pope said he kept the cross in his pocket for years and now keeps it in a small pouch underneath his robes.

"And whenever a bad thought comes to mind about someone, my hand goes here, always," he said, gesturing to his heart. "And I feel the grace, and that makes me feel better."

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