The thousands of people who spent a sleepless night in the main square of Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo, to watch the Mass inaugurating their former Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio had a pleasant surprise.
At 7:32am Rome time—that is, 3:32am in Argentina—the speakers placed outside the cathedral in the square began to carry the voice of Pope Francis. He was calling, from the Vatican, to greet them.
Apparently the Pontiff placed a call to a local priest at the Cathedral from their they call was connected and broadcast to Plaza de Mayo, so he could say hello to his first flock.
“Dear sons and daughters, I know you have gathered in the square. I know that you are saying prayers, I need them very much. It is beautiful to pray because we look to heaven and know that we have a good Father who is God,” Pope Francis said.
A huge wave of applause greeted the Pope’s words and he continued:
“I want to ask a favor of you. I want to ask for us to walk together, to care for one another, for you to care for each other. Do not cause harm. Protect life. Protect the family; protect nature; protect the young; protect the elderly. Let there not be hatred or fighting. Put aside envy.” And, in the city’s slang, he added: “No le saquen el cuero a nadie [literally, “don’t flay or skin anyone alive”, that is, don’t gossip, don’t criticize one another]. Talk with one another so that this desire to protect each other might grow in your hearts. And draw near to God. God is good. He always forgives and understands. Do not be afraid of him. Draw near to him and may the Virgin bless you. May she, as a mother, protect you. Please do not forget this bishop who is far away but who loves you very much. Pray for me!”
Francis concluded, imparting the papal blessing to all present before closing the connection.