Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 16 April |

Pope Francis Makes Surprise Call to Sick Seminarian

giulio napolitano /

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 03/28/16

From Crux: 

Pope Francis’ penchant for calling people out of the blue is already the stuff of legend, and the “cold call pope” was back at it again recently, stunning a sick Italian seminarian with a call to promise prayers and to urge him not to lose hope. The call to Antonio Esposito came on March 18 at 4:00 p.m., according to the regional Italian newspaper Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno. According to the report, Esposito answered his phone and was astonished to hear the pope on the other end of the line. “Hi Antonio, good afternoon, sorry if I’m bothering you, but it’s Pope Francis,” Esposito reported hearing. “How are you?” As often happens in these cases, Esposito said at first he thought the call was a prank. Quickly, however, he realized that very few people actually have the number Francis was calling, and that, plus the familiar-sounding voice, confirmed it was actually the pontiff. Esposito, 22, is studying for the priesthood for the diocese of Conversano-Monopoli, and is attending a regional Pontifical Seminary in the Italian city of Molfetta. He’s in his last year of studies, having already been ordained a deacon, and is currently battling an unidentified illness. According to Esposito, the pope became aware of his illness after Esposito went to the Vatican pharmacy in early March to pick up medicines needed for his treatment. Somehow word got back to Francis that a seminarian was sick, and he decided to call to express his support. “I know that you’re a good seminarian,” Esposito reported the pope saying, “that you’re committed to your studies and that you’re fighting this illness.” “I want to tell you to keep your chin up, because the Lord is always with you and I will always pray for you.”

Read more. 

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!

Top 10
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
See More