Our surprising pope continues to surprise

This story is rather loosely sourced—there are versions of it here and here—but it’s too good to pass up:

A few days ago, at dawn, the time the Pope wakes up, he came out to the corridor, and he found in front of his door the sentry, a Swiss Guard standing with his halberd at attention.

He asked him: “And what are you doing here? Have you been up all night?”

“Yes,” replied the guard with deference and a bit surprised.

“On your feet?”

“Your Holiness, my duty since I took over from my companion.”

“And aren’t you tired?”

“It’s my duty Your Holiness; I should watch for your safety.”

Pope Francis looked at him again with kindness, went back to his suite and after a minute he came out carrying a chair: “At least sit down and rest.”

The guard rolled his eyes and answered: “Santo Padre, forgive me, but I cannot! The regulations do not allow that.”

“The regulations?”

“Orders from my captain, Your Holiness.”

The Pope smiled, “Oh, really? Well, I’m the Pope and I order you to sit down.”

So, caught between the regulations and the Pope, the Swiss Guard (so much for the halberd) chose the chair.

The Pope returned to his apartment.

After a couple of minutes, the Pope came back to the Swiss Guard, still obediently seated on the chair, carrying “panino con marmellata” (Italian bread with jam) which he had prepared. Before the soldier could say anything, the Holy Father, exhibiting his Argentinean smile, told the Swiss Guard, “With all the hours spent standing on guard you must be a bit hungry.” The Swiss Guard had no time to object because the Pope right away wished him a good bite: “Bon appetit, brother.”

If true, it’s one of the few times the new bishop of Rome has been quoted actually referring to himself as “pope,” which is one reason I’m a little skeptical of this.  But it does sound like something he’d do, doesn’t it?

UPDATE: Multiple blogs have picked up this story, but no one has yet been able to confirm that it’s true.  But everybody wants to believe that it is.  Let the hagiography begin!

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