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The Pope was mobbed when he went out to buy glasses

Pope Francis is long-sighted apparently.

Vatican Pope Pope Francis being cheered by passers by near the opticians in Rome Source: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

POPE FRANCIS WENT to an optician’s in central Rome on Thursday to try on glasses, Italian media reported.

Arriving in an unmarked car in the late afternoon, the Argentine pontiff visited the shop in the historic and lively city centre close to the famous Piazza del Popolo, drawing crowds outside the window.

Vatican New Glasses Source: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

He tried on a few frames over a period of about 40 minutes, and according to specialised Vatican news agency I-Media, the pope asked the shopkeeper to charge him the normal price.

“I don’t want new frames, you only need to repair the glasses, I don’t want to spend,” the pope was quoted as saying by the optician Alessandro Spiezia.

Francis, 78, who is long-sighted, had previously been a customer of the shop, as had his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, according to the optician’s website.

Vatican Pope Source: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

In an interview with Mexican television in March, Francis said that since becoming pope in 2013 he missed being able to go anonymously into the streets, to eat pizza for example.

He is renowned for throwing off his security and plunging into the crowds to greet pilgrims, and often uses jokes or stories to spread the values of the Church.

- © AFP, 2015

Read: What do you make of the Pope’s advice to priests on abortion?

Also: China has just got its first Catholic bishop in three years

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