“A poor priest” in the Popemobile

A heartwarming scene at the general audience as Pope Francis saw a familiar face in the crowd, and invited him for a ride in the Popemobile.

The familiar priest was Father Fabian Baez from Buenos Aires and until March of last year Pope Francis had been his bishop. Fr. Fabian immediately became a minor Internet celebrity, but for both men the encounter must have been even more meaningful.

Pope Francis has not been home since March. Of course, he has made the Vatican his home in his unique way, but to all intents and purposes, Buenos Aires was what he expected to be home for the rest of his life. To suddenly spot a familiar face in the crowd is a sudden reminder of what he left behind, no matter how pleasant his new home may be. And the joy of that reminder is visible in how the Holy Father welcomed and embraced Fr. Fabian.