16 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Jubilee 'Holy Door' to be opened at hostel from Rome's homeless

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a “Holy Door" will be opened at the Caritas Hostel, which provides rooms for 180 of Rome’s homeless. Cardinal Agostino Vall…

Read more

03 Nov 2016 Articles Comments (2)

What is modesty and how is it damaging young men and women?

Modesty is a topic everyone will talk about at some point in their lives, whether it will concern them personally or they see it impact someone else - but what …

Read more

17 Oct 2016 News No comments

Pope canonises seven saints who ‘fought the good fight of faith’

Francis celebrated a canonisation Mass in St Peter's Square on Sunday The seven new saints of the Church were holy not because of their own efforts but because…

Read more

05 Jul 2016 News USA Vatican No comments

Vatican calls for rights of seafarers to be respected

The hard work and dangers that mark the lives of most seafarers demand people’s attention, said the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travellers. Not only …

Read more

25 Jun 2016 Americas Australia Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Pope Francis says Brexit vote leaves Europe with a ‘great responsibility’

Pope Francis has said the British decision to leave the European Union leaves a “great responsibility" for all of us to help ensure the “peaceful co-existence" …

Read more

02 Nov 2014 Articles Comments (3)

Liberate Yourself from E-Slavery

In the March 14, 2006 edition of the Chicago Tribune appeared “Swan Song for an iPod," by a Kevin Pang, whose device had crashed. The author recalled all the “g…

Read more

12 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

A cultural — and Catholic — superstar

Let’s face it. There are not many cultural superstars who are superstar Catholics, too. But Stephen Colbert, whose “The Late Show" debuted on CBS Tuesday, is on…

Read more

15 Jan 2016 News Vatican Comments (2)

The Holy Father organized a Free Circus Show for the Poor

The office of the Papal Almoner through the consent of the Pope has approved a Circus Show for homeless people, the poor, refugees and some prisoners. It was…

Read more

05 Feb 2016 Articles No comments

Make Room for Grace

Annunciation (14th century), reverse of two-sided icon from the Church of St. Clement, Skolpje, Macedonia. Located in the Icon Gallery, Ohrid, Macedonia. T…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Papal pop-by at Roman eyewear shop draws an enthusiastic crowd

Even the most ho-hum errands become extraordinary if it’s the Pope who’s running them.

And it is no different for Pope Francis, who popped in to his eye doctor on Thursday to get some new lenses and attracted a mob of onlookers in a matter of minutes.
The Pope rolled up in his blue Ford Focus to the optometry shop, Ottica Spiezia, located along the posh Via del Babuino, the evening of Sept. 3 accompanied by a modest entourage of security guards, a witness told the Associated Press.

Even though Francis’ appointment lasted less than an hour, enthusiastic onlookers streetside scrambled to snap photos and inundate Twitter with the news that they were witnessing the Pope running an errand outside the Vatican walls.

After about 40 minutes, the Pope opened the door and briefly greeted the crowd before heading back to the Vatican.

Shop owner Alessandro Spiezia said he was surprised by the papal pop-by, since he had offered to come to the Vatican to refill the prescription himself.

“I was supposed to go to the Vatican yesterday to bring them, but the Pope told his secretary, ‘No, I don’t want Spiezia to come here, I’ll go to Via del Babuino,'” Spiezia told the AP.

Spiezia supplied Francis’ frames last year, who liked them so much he decided to be a repeat customer.

Spotting the Holy Father outside the Vatican but in Rome is rare, largely for security reasons, a fact that Pope Francis himself has lamented. As a cardinal in Buenos Aires, he took public transportation almost every day.

Soehe, a young German tourist visiting Rome with his father, told the AP he was excited to spot the Pope at the eye glasses shop, especially after he waited for four hours earlier in the day to climb to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica, to no avail.

“There were too many people, and also the president of Israel was visiting and there were so many police officers, so it was too much for us and we went back to the hotel,” Soehe said.

“I told my father, ‘Hey, that was better than going to St. Peter’s dome: Seeing the Pope in a shop trying on new glasses.'”


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories