Pope Makes a Surprise Visit to a Record Store in Rome

He Has Known the Owners since He Was a Cardinal

Record Store in Rome
Pope Francis leaves the Sterosound store in the center of Rome © Javier Martínez-Brocal

Around 7:00 pm yesterday, January 11, 2022, Pope Francis went to the “Stereo-sound” record store in Rome on Via della Minerva, near the Pantheon, in the heart of Rome, to bless the recently renewed store.

According to Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, His Holiness blessed the recently renewed store. “Vatican News” reported that the Pope arrived in his car and stayed some 10 minutes in the store. The Holy Father has known the store’s owners since the time he was Archbishop and frequented the area, as he was staying in the Clergy House on via della Scrofa during his stays in Rome.

In addition to blessing the store, the Pontiff blessed Letizia, the store’s elderly proprietor, her son-in-law, and her daughter, who gave the Pope a 33 rpm record of classical music as a gift. In the meantime, a small crowd gathered at the entrance of the store.

On leaving the store, His Holiness got into his car to return to the Vatican and the owners of “Stereosound” quickly lowered the shutter. Letizia was unwilling to make any statements, other than to say that Pope Francis was an “old client” who often went to the store when he was Cardinal of Buenos Aires and that his visit that day was “lovely” and “full of humanity,” reported “Vatican News.”

This wasn’t the first surprise visit of the Holy Father to a Roman store. In September of 2015, he went to an optician’s on Via del Babuino in central Rome, to change the frame of his eyeglasses. And, in September of 2016, he went to the Fisioitop orthopedic store on Gelsomino street, in the Gregory VII district, to purchase shoes.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester