The phone rings and you pick it up: “Hello?”
“Este es Papa Francis.”
“Yeah right, you got to be kidding me.”
“No, en serio. ¡Soy yo!”
What would you say if Pope Francis called you on the phone? It could happen, you know. Since Pope Francis was elected last March, the “cold-call pope” has phoned several people.
After the conclave, he personally called to cancel his newspaper subscription in Argentina. He then called his cobbler to tell him that someone else would be picking up his shoes. In August, Francis phoned an Argentinian woman who had been raped by a police officer. Later that month, Michele Ferri of Pesaro, Italy, answered his phone and was startled to hear, “Hello, Michele, it’s Pope Francis.” And then earlier this month, he phoned a woman in Argentina who was denied Holy Communion because she had divorced and remarried. (It’s still unclear what he actually said during that call.)
So how can you ensure the Pope phones you? Well, the odds are probably against him dialing you personally, but you can get him to send you daily text messages via his Twitter feed.
It takes a few steps to set up, but it’s quick and easy. Here’s how to do it:
1. Sign in to Twitter. If you don’t have an account, create a free one here.
2. Visit the Mobile Settings menu page, enter your phone number (with area code), and then click “Activate phone”.
3. Pick up your phone and text the word GO to the phone number 40404 to complete the activation.
4. Adjust your Mobile Alerts on Twitter. You need to “check” the top option, but I recommend “unchecking” all the rest.
5. Visit Pope Francis’ Twitter page (@Pontifex). Click the gear icon underneath his image, and then select “Turn on mobile notifications”.
That’s it! You’ll now begin receiving texts directly from Pope Francis. He usually sends messages about once per day, first thing in the morning, so it shouldn’t overwhelm you. But if you want them to stop, just follow Step 5 above but choose “Turn off mobile notifications.”