Rome, Italy, Jun 16, 2005 / 22:00 pm
A nun identified as Sister Maria Cristina became the first person to have a cell phone conversation with a Pope. During Wednesday’s General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI granted a spontaneous request by a wheelchair-bound pilgrim to speak via cell phone with the nun who is suffering from cancer.
Sister Maria Cristina, 44, told reporters her illness requires her to remain at home and that therefore she had not been able to meet the new Pope. “I have not been able to go to the Lord and the Lord has come to me. To know that through His ministers God is close to me has been wonderful,” she said.
She added that hearing the voice of the Pope “was like a dream come true. He asked me how I was and he told me to be at peace and that he would pray for me. What surprised me was that he remembered my name and he called me Sister Maria Cristina as if we already knew each other.”
The cell phone conversation was engineered by Emilio Testa, who was in the first row at the Wednesday audience. Testa explained that he knew Sister Maria Cristina had dreamed about being able to greet the Pope, and to the surprise of the Pontiff’s aides, he asked the Pope to pray for her and if he could talk to her over the phone.