Pope Francis gives a thumbs up sign as he is greeted by the faithful upon arrival for the beatification mass of Paul Yun Ji-Chung and his 123 martyr companions in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. Paul Yun Ji-Chung, born in 1759, was among the earliest Catholics on the Korean Peninsula. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, Pool)

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Pope Francis has a habit of telephoning people out of the blue

A man didn't believe it was the Pope and hung up twice, the Vatican newspaper says

CNN  — 

Good thing Pope Francis has a sense of humor.

He called an Italian man Monday to inquire about his poor health, according to l’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. He does this so often he’s been dubbed “the Cold Call Pope.”

But Franco Rabuffi hadn’t heard. He thought the call was a hoax, the paper said, and hung up.


The third time he started believing.

“I was speechless,” Rabuffi told l’Osservatore Romano. “But Pope Francis came to my rescue, saying that what had happened was funny.”

The pope even invited Rabuffi and his wife to the weekly general audience so he could hug them in person.

Rabuffi apologized and – no surprise – the Pope forgave him.

CNN’s Sara Delgrossi in London translated.