“Last Wednesday Maria Teresa Baruffi, who lives in the northern Italian town of Caravaggio with her family, received a surprising phone call while standing in line at the supermarket: It was Pope Francis, asking to speak to her son, Andrea.
Several days prior, Andrea, who is 18 and has autism, had sent a letter to Pope Francis to ‘correct’ him because, during the time of the coronavirus, he invites those present inside the chapel for his daily livestreamed Masses to make the Sign of Peace, typically expressed with a handshake or a kiss.
According to Francis, the youth told him, ‘You say, ‘Peace be with you,’ but you can’t say that because in the pandemic we can’t touch each other.’
During his April 29 call to Baruffi, Francis explained that he wanted to give Andrea an answer. However, since Andrea was not with his mother at the supermarket, the pope said he would call back when she was at home, and he did.
This time both Andrea and Baruffi’s husband were there with her to take the call, which was put on speakerphone. The moment was video-recorded by another member of the family and published online…
Pope Francis closed the call offering the family his blessing and asking for prayer, but not before making a small joke with Baruffi, who told him that, ‘We pray a lot for you, but you don’t need it, you are already a saint.’
Jesting, he laughed, and said, ‘Who knows, maybe we’ll see each other in hell?’, to which Baruffi said, ‘I think for you no, but us perhaps. We’re a little bit mean with everyone in this situation.'”