Lunch with the Gods: Pope Francis Eats with Vatican Workers in Cafeteria

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa
July 29, 2014 4:11 PM EST

Lunch with the Gods: Pope Francis Eats with Vatican Workers in Cafeteria

It probably felt like eating with the gods, or more like being there right during Jesus Christ's last supper with his 12 apostles. Vatican workers having lunch last week at the cafeteria were surprised when Pope Francis came in and then fell in line to get his food.

Grabbing a tray, Pope Francis ordered cod fish with grilled tomatoes, plain white pasta with a little olive oil, some french fries and a bottle of water, in line with the Roman Catholic's tradition of "fish on Friday."

Walking into the canteen at about 12:10 noon, he was dressed in his usual immaculate and pristine white robes and skull-cap.

Then he chose to sit among five warehouse workers from the Vatican pharmacy wearing short-sleeve blue polo shirts eating on a long table, enjoying a light-hearted chat in the process.

The conversation centered on the jobs and families of the staff. The pope, in return, "shared his Italian origins," one unidentified diner told Vatican news service L'Osservatore Romano.

Oh, they also talked about football, but of course, and even the economy.

He bonded with the workers for 40 minutes over lunch.

Franco Pai'ni, canteen chef, told Vatican Radio Pope Francis' visit to his cafeteria was "like a thunderbolt out of the blue."

"Who'd have thought! The pope coming to eat with us? Hah! We were all caught off guard, but it was one of the best things that could happen to you," Pai'ni said.

Pai'ni all the more got giddy when the pope complemented him on the food.

In between the chat and his lunch, cameras clicked endlessly. For those who were brave enough to ask Pope Francis for a selfie, he was more than willing to oblige.

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