The pope’s new helper

balloons

Screen-grab of balloons flying over St. Peter’s Basilica during a meeting with families on Saturday.

VATICAN CITY — Move over Archbishop Ganswein, there’s a new kid in town. Well, just temporarily.

For about an hour Saturday evening, during Pope Francis’ meeting with families in St. Peter’s Square, a little boy took over as prefect of the papal household: he helped bring guests up to the pope, he tried to take presents off the pope’s hands, he adjusted the pope’s microphone… He didn’t leave the pope’s side, just like a perfect prefect would do during many public and private audiences.

But the little boy got a lot more leeway than the archbishop and was allowed to sit in the papal chair when his legs got tired, he got some candy from the pope’s other helpers, and he got a ton of head-pats, smiles and smirks. Not bad for a first job.

Through a series of screen-grabs, we’ve compiled several of our favorite shots from that night here, showing the papal helper in action:

Image

Peekaboo!

s'up2

“Oh, so you did see that ad in the Osservatore Romano.”

hello

“OK, you’re hired.”

kiss cross

The boy went up to play with the pope’s pectoral cross and then kissed it with prompting from the pope.

cute

Who’s got the better profile?

rub head

Must have been a good punchline.

the helper

“Hmmm, let me mull that over.”

hmm

“Sorry kid, I’ve got to give my talk now.”

candy shot

The pope’s assistant, Sandro Mariotti, tries to lure the boy away with a candy.

not going

“Sorry Sandrone, I’m staying right where I’m needed!”

he's staying

Turf battle won and got a candy, too!

hug

Bear hug!

hi mom!

“Hi Mom!! Gonna be home late!”

hang

“Let’s keep it moving, please. The pope has lots of people to greet.”

helping with guests

Bringing people up to the pope: “Don’t be shy. He’s really nice. Besides, you’re next!”

ill take that

“Let me take that for you.”

hold

“This microphone stand always needs adjusting.”

chair

“Phew. I’m exhausted. I’ll just sit here for a bit.”

where's waldo

We give him an A+ in Papal Assistance 101!

 

Anyone interested in watching the event (in Italian) can go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y184FerFMJ4 .  The child (whose name has not been made public) begins his debut at 3:19:39.

 

 

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