Europe

Pope gives a lift to 2 kids in St. Peter's Square

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has given a lift to two lucky kids during his general audience in St. Peter's Square.

A particularly jovial Francis hopped off his white, open-air car Wednesday to greet a group of fifth graders from Perugia who presented him with a T-shirt from their school. Seemingly joking, Francis asked if any of them wanted to take a spin through the square.

"Me! Me! Me!" they yelled. Francis picked 11-year-olds Livio Bastianelli and Davide Maria Bianchi and the two hopped aboard. Bastianelli told The Associated Press it was a ride of a lifetime: "I was really excited. That never happens!"

Francis' sense of humor was also on display later, as he joked that a monsignor, forced to cut short a reading because of a nagging cough, was "getting old."

Related Headlines

  • Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst

    Pope replaces German 'bling bishop' after inquiry

    Pope Francis on Wednesday permanently removed a German bishop from his Limburg diocese after his 31 million-euro ($43-million) new residence complex caused an uproar among the ... 

  •  Pope Francis

    Pope blesses cross made from migrant boats

    Pope Francis has blessed a wooden cross made from the boats of migrants who have come ashore at the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa. Francis visited Lampedusa last August and ... 

  • Pope gets unusual gift during Maltese audience

    Like his papal predecessors, Pope Francis receives all kinds of official gifts from visiting dignitaries: plaques, religious icons and limited-edition books. On Friday, he ... 

  • Pope departs on bus for weeklong retreat

    Pope Francis has traveled to a retreat outside Rome aboard a bus with cardinals and bishops. Francis and the heads of Vatican offices traveled to Ariccia, in the hills south ...