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Pope strikes again with cold-call visits to bless homes

Pope Francis blesses an home during a visit to a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis blesses an home during a visit to a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 17, 2017 file photo, Pope Francis waves as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. On Friday, May 19, 2017, Focus Features announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 17, 2017 file photo, Pope Francis waves as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. On Friday, May 19, 2017, Focus Features announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to "Pope Francis - A Man of His Word." The film, directed by Wim Wenders, is a co-production with the Vatican. It's only the second time the Vatican has collaborated with outside filmmakers and the first to grant direct access to a Pope. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis is welcomed by residents as he visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Pope Francis is welcomed by residents as he visits a popular neighborhood in Ostia, near Roma, where he made a surprise visit along with local priest, stopping in various homes to bless the families living there, Friday, May 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool via AP)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, May 19, 2017 02:27 pm

VATICAN CITY The cold-call pope has struck again, with Pope Francis surprising a dozen families with an afternoon visit to their homes to perform an annual springtime blessing.

Francis played the role of parish priest Friday as he rang apartment buzzers in Ostia, a beach community on Rome's outskirts, and blessed homes of residents.

The ritual is a post-Easter tradition in Italy, with priests posting notices on buildings announcing the dates and times they'll pass by.

The Vatican said the local Ostia priest did so, only Francis showed up instead.

Francis frequently surprises a few lucky souls with surprise visits and phone calls. He even rang Pope Benedict XVI the night he was elected, but no one picked up.

Benedict was watching TV broadcasts of the election and didn't hear the phone ring.

    

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