Pope Francis was late to his weekly Sunday appearance after being stuck in an elevator for nearly half an hour.
“I need to apologize for being late,” he told the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to translated comments. “I was stuck in an elevator for 25 minutes.”
The pontiff blamed a power problem.
“Thank God the fire brigade came,” he said, then called for a round of applause for his rescuers.
CBS News reported that the pope was about 7 minutes late for the Angelus, traditionally delivered from the window of the papal apartment.
The slight delay was so out of character for the 82-year-old pontiff that there was immediate speculation about his health on Italian television, where the speech is carried live, according to AFP.
Once the event got under way, the pope spoke of humility and generosity, the Catholic News Agency reported.
Francis leaves this week for a trip to Africa.