Pontiff joins "The Company's" celebration, and meets with family of priest kidnapped in Syria.
Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola on Thursday by making a surprise visit for dinner at the Jesuit General Curia, which is located on the Borgo Santa Spirito just outside of Vatican City.
Pope Francis arrived in his Ford Focus, and greeted several passers-by outside the front door of the offices of the Jesuit Curia before going inside.
Last week, Francis surprised Vatican workers by lining up at their cafeteria, tray in hand, for lunch.
According to a statement issued by the Jesuits, the visit was wholly private, and quite simple. The Pope joined the community for the meal in the refectory, then in the recreation room for coffee, for friendly conversation, and to greet each person personally.
The statement also said the seven brothers and sisters of Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, the Jesuit kidnapped in Syria one year ago, were guests at the meal. Pope Francis consoled them with words of comfort.
Photos published on the Jesuit’s website show Pope Francis touring the facility, and praying in the chapel.
After the meal, Pope Francis left through the Curia’s back garden.
Last year, Pope Francis marked the feast of St. Ignatius by celebrating Mass with the Jesuits at the Church of the Gesù, the mother church of the order.