Before his coronation mass Francis talked to the Catholics gathered in Plaza de Mayo
As thousands of Argentine Catholics were congregated at Plaza de Mayo in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral, where huge screens and Vatican and Argentine flags were set up for people to joyfully celebrate the beginning of Francis’ papacy, the Pontiff surprised the masses with an unexpected phone call.
At 3:35am early morning and while the masses were waiting for the coronation Mass in Rome, that took place at 5.30am on Tuesday (local time), organizers announced they had a call from the Vatican and that it was the very same Francis.
“Hi everybody: I know you are all gathered at the square”, the pontiff said and continued, “I also know you are praying which is always beautiful. I will ask you to pray for unity so there’s no hatred, no fights and envy among us.”
Likewise, Francis asked believers “to take care of each other, take care of your lives, your families, the Mother Nature, the children and the elder people. And do not go around throwing critiques at others”.
Meanwhile in the Vatican Argentine President Cristina Fernández was the first head of state among hundreds of delegations to salute Pope Francis after the inauguration mass on Tuesday at St Peter’s square.
Visibly touched, she approached the Pontiff to salute him. They had already met the day before when they exchanged gifts and shared a lunch. She was followed by Italian president Napolitano.
During the inauguration mass the Argentine president was accompanied by Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, Lower House president, Julián Domínguez and the president of the Supreme Court, Ricardo Lorenzetti. Other members of the delegation included, lawmaker Ricardo Alfonsin; Senator Anibal Fernandez; president of the Industries Union, Jose Ignacio De Mendiguren; mayors Carlos Mauricio Espinola and Julio Pereyra; Guillermo Oliveri, Secretary of Cult; Alicia Olivera, former Buenos Aires city ombudsperson; trade union leaders Antonio Caló, Omar Viviani and Omar Suarez; Ambassador in the Vatican Juan Pablo Cafieron; the heads of the Episcopal Conference Monsignor Jose Maria Arancedo and of the Social Pastoral, Carlo Alberto Acaputo; press officer Alfredo Scocimarro and the president’s personal secretary, Pablo Barreiro.