The Pope drops in for dinner

Pope Francis was a surprise guest at the Jesuit Curia in Rome last Thursday. The Community was about to celebrate the Feast of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St Ignatius Loyola, when the Holy Father told Father General Adolfo Nicolás that he would like to join them.

The Pope’s visit was private and informal. He joined the Jesuits and their lay co-workers for a meal in the refectory, then retired with them for coffee in the recreation room. Among those at the meal were seven siblings of Father Paolo Dall’Oglio SJ, the Italian Jesuit who was abducted in Syria a year ago. Pope Francis spoke with his brothers and sisters and consoled them with words of comfort.

Pope Francis also visited the chapel and met a group of Jesuits in Formation who were holding their annual gathering at the Curia. Two days later, they joined Pope Francis for Mass in the chapel of Santa Marta for the Feast of St Pierre Favre.