Pope Francis told his friend he lives a normal life as pontiff and that he decided not to move into the Papal Apartments so would not become isolated.
“I let people see me and I live a normal life; (I have) public Mass in the morning, I eat in the dining room with everyone, etc.,” he wrote to his friend Father Enrique Rodriguez in a letter dated May 15.
“This does me good and prevents me from being isolated,” he explained to his friend “Quique.”
Pope Francis also told his friend that he tries “to keep my nature and my way of behaving that I had in Buenos Aires because if I change at my age, I would surely make a fool out of myself.”
And despite all of the changes to his life, the Holy Father said, “I’m well and I haven’t lost peace after a totally surprising event, and I consider this a gift of God.”
According to the Argentinian daily El Clarín, which published the message on May 28 in Spanish, Fr. Rodriguez gave an interview on radio La Red La Rioja saying he received the letter without a return address.
“That called my attention and I immediately opened it, which gave me a nice surprise that it was the Pope’s response, whom I knew from a long time ago,” he said.
Fr. Rodriguez received the letter just before saying Mass and decided to read it at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, according to El Clarín.
“It made the community happy, so much that the congregation clapped after I finished reading it,” he said.
Pope Francis told his friend that his May 1 letter that he was responding to “brought him a lot of joy” and that Fr. Rodriguez’s description of a national feast day gave him “fresh air.”
Pope Francis also explained that he did not want to live in the Papal Apartments because it would isolate him and that he only goes there to work and for audiences.
“I stayed to live in Saint Martha House, which is a guest house (where we stayed during the conclave) for bishops, priests and lay people,” he wrote.
“I ask you, please, to pray for me and to ask others to pray for me,” he stated.
Pope Francis also offered his “greetings to Carlos and Miguel.”
“May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin take care of you,” he said. “Fraternally, Francisco.”