At first Daniel Del Regno thought it was a prank call, perhaps made by a friend trying to pull his leg. The Pope — the former archbishop of Buenos Aires — had to insist it was really him calling from the Vatican.
“Seriously, it’s Jorge Bergoglio. I’m calling you from Rome,” he said during the call last week. The Pope asked Del Regno to cancel the delivery of his newspaper to his modest apartment because he would not be returning to Argentina any time soon. “I was in shock, I broke down in tears and didn’t know what to say,” Del Regno said. “He thanked me for delivering the paper all this time and sent his best wishes to my family.”
The kiosk owner said that he had asked the then Cardinal Bergoglio, on the eve of his departure for Rome, how he rated his chances of being chosen as the successor to Benedict XVI. “He answered me, ‘See you in 20 days. Keep delivering the paper.’ And the rest is, well, history.”