Aboard the papal plane, 13 May 2017:
Elisabetta Piqué (La Nacion): (Edit: She is biographer and close confident of Francis). Thanks first of all for this brief and very intense trip. We wanted to ask you, today is the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, but is is also the important anniversary of a fact of your life that took place 25 years ago, when the Nuncio (Archbishop) Calabresi told you that you would become the Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, something that meant the end of your exile in Cordoba and a great change in your life. Have you every connected this fact that changed your life with Our Lady of Fatima? And in these days that you’ve prayed before her have you thought about this and what did you think about? Can you tell us about that? Thanks.
Pope Francis: Women know everything, eh! No, I didn’t think about the coincidence, only yesterday while I was praying before Our Lady I realized that one May 13th I received the phone call from the nuncio 25 years ago. I don’t know… I said, well look at that. I spoke with Our Lady a little about this. I asked her forgiveness for all of my mistakes, also of a bit of bad taste for choosing people… but yesterday I realized this.
Right. You “didn’t think about” the fact that you were told of your episcopal elevation on the 75th anniversary of Fatima, and you didn’t think about yesterday being the 25th anniversary of that. You didn’t think about your roaring comeback to the levers of power in 1992, after being removed from your rectorship, banished and exiled from your own professed order, forced to study a semester in Germany because you had nowhere else to go, flunking out, etc. I guess for a guy as humble as you, so totally uninterested in power, all of this just didn’t lend itself to any kind of resentment, retaliation, revenge, etc. You really didn’t give it much thought. It never crossed your mind.
Just like I’m sure it never crossed your mind the coincidence of your next two elevations. Remember? After being named Coadjutor successor for Buenos Aires five years later, the See became vacant on 28 Feb 1998 when your predecessor dropped dead, and BOOM. You’re the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and Primate of Argentina!
Now you probably thought this was already too much of a happy ending. Hollywood wouldn’t even buy this script; just too good to be true.
But this God is a God of surprises, and exactly 15 years later, 28 Feb 2013 Pope Benedict boards the helicopter at 20:00 hours Rome time, vacating the See of Peter.
Or at least it would so appear.