1. Pope Francis made friends with a parrot named Amore during his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.
2. The parrot’s owner, Francesco “Ghyblj” Lombardi, presented his bird to Pope Francis after the pope blessed his 1-year-old daughter.
3. Lombardi said that the bird squawked the word “papa” (the Italian word for “pope”) when he stepped onto the pope’s hand.
4. He told Italian news agency ANSA that Pope Francis called Amore “a beautiful gift from God.”
5. “It was fun,” Lombardi, a former male stripper, said. “A sort of mixing of the holy and the profane. I am a world champion stripper and have the leading role in (erotic filmmaker) Tinto Brass’s next movie.”
6. The moment was particularly poignant as the pope chose the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
7. Watch pope meet parrot in this video clip — if you listen closely, you can hear the bird saying, “Papa” around the 13-second mark.
- World leaders are gathering in Paris for the United Nations summit on climate change 🌍 ›
- Planned Parenthood officials said they believed Friday's shooting at a Colorado Springs clinic was motivated by opposition to abortion. ›
- And Kobe Bryant wrote a poem announcing that he's retiring from professional basketball at the end of this season 🏀🎭 ›