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Pope Francis pays a surprise visit to record store in Rome

Pope Francis celebrates Mass for the Feast of Epiphany in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Pope Francis, a classical music fan, snuck out of the Vatican on Tuesday evening to pay a visit to old friends who manage a record shop in Rome, and received a CD as a gift.

The news: The visit was supposed to be private, but reporter Javier Martinez-Brocal happened to be in the neighbourhood and recorded it on his phone, which he then uploaded on Twitter.

  • Francis lingered for less than ten minutes at the StereoSound record store near the Pantheon. Francis had gone there to bless the shop because it had recently been rebuilt, according to a Vatican spokesman.
  • The shop’s owners informed Martinez-Brocal that they had been friends with the pope when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, years ago, according to Reuters.
  • When he was in Rome on Church business, he would stop by their shop to buy classical music LPs and CDs, and he stayed in a nearby villa for visiting priests.
  • They said they presented the pope a classical music CD but wouldn’t say what it was. Francis is known to enjoy Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach, as well as Argentine tango music.
  • The pope was seen exiting the shop and getting into a basic white Fiat 500 with Vatican number plates, according to the video.

The pope’s visit to a Rome store was not his first. He ordered a new set of spectacles from a Rome optician in 2015.

They were supposed to be delivered to the Vatican, but he insisted on picking them up himself.

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