Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope praises his driver: a man who brings the Church forward

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 06/30/21

67-year-old layman is retiring, after working in the Vatican since age 14.

At the end of the General Audience on June 30, Pope Francis warmly thanked his driver, Renzo Cestiè, who is retiring. “He started working [at the Vatican] at 14 and came by bicycle; today, he is the driver of the Pope,” explained the pontiff, triggering a round of applause for this 67-year-old layman.

In 2016, Renzo Cestiè was interviewed by the British daily The Guardian. He confided his admiration for his “boss,” sharing what it is like to meet Francis’ gaze.

Cestiè will glance in his rearview mirror and find his passenger’s gaze. “I always look away,” he says. When Francis meets his eye, “it is as if, in that moment, he looks inside you and he knows who you are.” His voice cracks …

A “quiet passenger”

Recognizing that his job could be dangerous, the Pope’s driver declared that he felt no fear: “If it happens, we go to paradise,” he said to the British daily.

He praised the Pope’s sense of humanity.

For him, “we are all the same,” he explained then, “we are people who collaborate with him.”

During the General Audience, Pope Francis praised the fidelity of his driver.

Here, in the Vatican, there is a great variety of people who work: priests, cardinals, nuns, many lay people, many; and today I would like to pause to thank a layman, who is retiring today, Renzo Cestiè.

He started working [here] when he was 14 years old, he came by bicycle. Today he is the Pope’s driver: he has done all this.

Let’s applaud Renzo and his loyalty! He is one of those people who carries the Church forward with his work, with his benevolence, and with his prayer. I thank him so much and also take this opportunity to thank all the laity who work with us in the Vatican.

Pope FrancisVatican
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
Zelda Caldwell
A pilgrimage to Paris’ Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.