Pope gets stuck in Vatican lift, freed by fireman

Agence France-Presse . Vatican City | Published: 16:52, Sep 01,2019 | Updated: 17:49, Sep 01,2019


Pope Francis speaks from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St Peter’s square during the weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday. — AFP photo

Pope Francis said Sunday he was late to his weekly Angelus prayer because he had been stuck in a Vatican elevator and had to be freed by firemen.

‘I have to apologise for being late,’ the smiling 82-year old pontiff told crowds of faithful patiently waiting for him to appear at his study window overlooking Saint Peter’s Square.

‘I was trapped in a lift for 25 minutes, there was a power outage but then the firemen came,’ he said.

‘Let’s give a round of applause to the fire service,’ he said, prompting cheers and applause from the crowd.

Italian television networks that live-stream the Angelus had been concerned that the unprecedented seven-minute delay might have been due to health reasons.

Francis seems to have unlimited energy despite his age. But he lost part of a lung in his youth, and the occasional grimace bears witness to the sciatic pain that is a near-constant companion.

It was believed to be the first time the Vatican’s head of state, who leads the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, has got stuck in a lift.

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