The pope’s new helper


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:




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


“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.


Who’s got the better profile?

rub head

Must have been a good punchline.

the helper

“Hmmm, let me mull that over.”


“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!


Bear hug!

hi mom!

“Hi Mom!! Gonna be home late!”


“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.”


“This microphone stand always needs adjusting.”


“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: .  The child (whose name has not been made public) begins his debut at 3:19:39.



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39 Responses to The pope’s new helper

  1. Gorgeous simplicity, “ALWAYS preach the Gospel, sometimes use words.”

  2. jim says:

    Too cute!

  3. Cheryl Hightower says:

    Remember Jesus said “Let the children come un to me”. Pope Francis is the vicar of Christ. So heart warming.

  4. Nixon Eato says:

    Awww, for me it would be my greatest honour to sit on the papal chair..

  5. V M. Cuppage says:

    He could have a future as a priest!

  6. Francisca Keyen says:

    May the child grow up to be a priest in Jesus name

  7. Petronella Cross says:

    The Pope is sooo different sooo human its amazing hope one day he visits us in Zimbabwe Africa.we need his humilty

  8. This little child being drawn to the side of the Pope on this occasion cannot be a coincidence. What an amazing, humble man is this Pope and the child saw and knew him as such.

  9. ACHEAMPONG says:

    That could be a sign of the future Pope.
    I pray that God will grant him the chance.Amen.

  10. Joy says:

    Sooooo…cute…..wonderful job.

  11. Duane Lamers says:

    Pictures like these can do wonders, I suspect, in helping the wavering among us to reaffirm their faith in the Church and papacy and to attract others. Here’s hoping that the vast crowd saw some of this on tv screens in the piazza.

  12. Florence Ruvolo says:

    Could be a future Pope. How wonderful for the world to see the Pope showing pure love for a child. It is so badly needed. As someone wrote previously to me. Jesus said, Let the children come un to me”

  13. Angelina Gyang says:

    God bless you and your family boy. I am impressed. ‘Suffer little children to come to me’. A candy could not derail his service for the Pope. May God who has begun this work in him, bring it to fulfilment. Great lessons learnt.

  14. Mary Patricia Josef - from Malaysia. says:

    Being Jesus Christ’s Number One Representative on Earth, The Holy Father was truly Christ-like . May The Good Lord Bless him to continue to be our Leader.

  15. Lucia Wong says:

    A blessed october present for the Pope.

  16. I work for the AP and we’d like to interview the child who went on stage with pope. If anyone knows him or where he’s from, please send tips to Thanks !

  17. Regina says:

    How cute is our Pope Francis! He is the definition of LOVE! And that little helper…I LOVE IT!! Praise the name of Jesus for the gifts, our children, our young, our today! Amen!

  18. Grace auma adongo says:

    I pray that pope comes to kenya and visit us at ST. Theresa’s Kibuye Parish in Kisumu.

  19. Danny says:

    The kid is a Colombian orphan who was adopted a year ago by an Italian couple.

  20. We can really learn from the children and be inspired from them if we only “Do” understand them with our heart not by our sight of their being innocent way of thinking and acts….What an inspiration to all with this little boy. To God be the glory….

  21. Edward P. Kindler says:

    What a perfect example of patience and LOVE.

  22. jesline thomas says:

    ayyyooooo i too feel like a child……………………………………..

  23. Agbi Kwablah Martin says:

    Agbi Kwablah Martin. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and become like this child. And whoever welcomes in my name one such child as this welcomes me.

  24. Angela flannery says:

    That scene is so fill of love. I loved when the child sat on his chair

  25. Abreo Bernard says:

    Pope Francis, he is an embodiment of HOPE…. I love this leader…. He is exactly what we need to move the church forward, away from all the bureacracy..

  26. 'Alavina Teaupa Doherty says:

    Oh shooo cute…kid have pure heart and innocent!… Love it warm feeling watching it!…Amen and Amen let the childen come un to me!…May the Lord bless the Pope and the little boy!

  27. Jenny says:

    The love from the Pope is so genuine. It has taught me a lesson we are all equal. It was emotionally moving.

  28. chuck thomas says:

    May Francis be blessed with a long and healthy life. He knows there is much to be done to make the church more welcome and less forbidding. He relates to the people–a really refreshing thing. The College of Cardinals has hit a home run.

  29. Jeremiah Mosioma says:

    So nice! We all need to learn from this gesture of an all embracing Pope and reach out to all humanity especially the lowly in our society.

  30. Henry Williams says:

    Which other pope had this encounter with such an innocent child?

  31. Denise Roberts says:

    ‘from the mouths of babes’, children know goodness, that child was drawn to the pope, just as the whole world is, because he is as Jesus was , on earth 2013 years ago.

  32. Edmund says:

    Lucky child. Gods plan n Jesus words seen practical. Let d children come to me….

  33. John Batist Bbwete. says:

    When i saw this video i was so touched and played it several times seeing this younger doing all what he was doing was a big lesson for all humanity, Its all about humility.The boy helping the young girl comming forward to the Pope this was a symbolical that we all need to help others to reach Jesus, helping Popes microfone was to tell us that we must listen well what Jesus tells us. I can say this boy to acted as an angel of Jesus, lets wait to hear more wonders will this boy do in his life. God bless this boy n our Francis.

  34. john francis says:

    And when the young boy, hardly a toddler, kept knocking his father’s hand aside in a petulant way as his father tried to shake Pope Francis’s hand? This kid is a show-off who could use a little family discipline. Despite all the ooh ing and ah ing above, at times the Pope himself appeared to have had enough. TIME OUT! GO BACK and sit down as the other children invited to sit on the steps near the Pope did.

  35. grace says:

    GOD BLESS OUR POPE ,THE GREAT ,THE GOOD…….It was a great video, the little innocent boy was really lucky to be a great assistant to our POPE, looks like he has received the blessings of JESUS to be a priest

  36. Robert Sutliff says:

    I have to agree with John Francis that perhaps the boys’ parents could have stepped in but I suspect that “Grandpa” Francis was not that frustrated with the situation. Very little seems to frustrate him except for the men who think they know all the answers and seek to make themselves more important than God. Francis, I hope, will prove to be a tremendous blessing to the Church.

  37. WJH says:

    One hour Francis had to put up with that obnoxious little kid? Should have been led off stage after 1 minute … like St. Therese of Lisieux was with Leo XIII and everyone else is.

  38. Ronald Napigkit says:

    I feel so blessed and graced to have Pope Francis in this trying moments.

  39. Virginia Rizzuto says:

    God has sent us this Shepperd to lead his people in the most difficult times. He has inspired all of us with his humility and love. He made us realize what is most important in our lives. People of all faiths have lost perspective and Pope Francis have brought a new light to the world. God bless you Pope Francis, you are indeed a gift from heaven.

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