By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY — Parishioners in Rome gave Pope Francis a brand new black bag in the hopes that it would hold up for many years of traveling and serving as the successor of St. Peter.
An unidentified parishioner at the church of St. Gregory the Great presents Pope Francis April 6 with a new leather bag, similar to the one he already uses for trips outside the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“We hope that you have a long and fruitful pontificate, therefore, we thought that the bag you have may not be enough,” Father Renzo Chiesa told the pope.
The pope got the gift when he went to hear confessions and celebrate Mass at the church of St. Gregory the Great in the outskirts of Rome this Sunday.
Father Chiesa told the pope that they stuffed the bag full of letters and notes from parishioners so as “not to clog up the Vatican post office” with more mail for the pope.
Pope Francis holding his personal bag as he boarded a plane at airport in Rome July 22, 2013. (CNS photo/Giampiero Sposito, Reuters)
The bag is practically identical to the one the pope carries along with him on trips outside the Vatican.
He revealed to journalists on the plane to Brazil last July, what was inside: “It wasn’t the key for the atom bomb,” he told them. There was a razor, a breviary, an appointment book, a book to read (about St. Therese).
He said, “I have always taken a bag with me when traveling — it’s normal.”
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