Vatican City – For the first time during one of his Wednesday public audiences, Pope Francis spoke in Spanish, the language he used along with Italian to greet the roughly 40,000 people from all over the world who came to St. Peter's Square for the traditional weekly meeting with the faithful.
Since his election to the papacy on March 13, Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio has only spoken in public in Italian, with the exception of the day on which he greeted reporters from all over the world who were covering the conclave, when he uttered a single phrase in Spanish.
At his two previous public audiences, Francis used only Italian, even when he greeted the faithful from Spain and Latin America, something that disappointed many of those present, who wanted to hear the first Latin American pontiff speak in Spanish.
On Wednesday, the pope used Italian to greet the faithful who spoke Portuguese, French, English, German, Polish, Arabic and Italian, but when he greeted the Latin Americans, he did so in Spanish, which brought applause from them.
Among those present at the Wednesday audience were members of Argentina's San Lorenzo soccer club, the pope's favorite team.
When he directed his remarks to them and said "greetings to the San Lorenzo de Almagro Athletic Club group from Buenos Aires" he added, smiling broadly, "That is very important."