Updated: Feb 9, 2022
Pope Francis, a lover of classical music, made a surprise appearance at a Roman record shop yesterday to give his blessing and pick up some vinyl records to look at.
Sources at the Holy See told AFP that Stereosound, a record shop near the Pantheon, had recently been renovated and that the 85-year-old Pope had visited the shop yesterday evening to give his blessing.
The owner of the record shop has been a long-time friend of Pope Francis, who is of Argentine origin. Francis has previously spoken of the power of music, saying that he loves classical music as well as tango music.
According to the Vatican News, the official news website of the Holy See, the owner's daughter gave the Pope a 33 rpm classical vinyl record as a gift.
The Pope drew a small crowd outside the shop and spent about 10 minutes at the record shop before driving off without making a public statement.
Vatican News reported that Letizia, the owner of the record store, said the Pope was a "regular customer" who had been visiting the store since he became cardinal in 2001.
Francis is often unorthodox, but in his earlier life, the Pope was a simple man who carried his own briefcase and made his own phone calls.
In 2015, two years after he was elected spiritual leader of 1.3 billion Catholics, Francis visited an optician in central Rome to change his glasses.