Casa Santa Marta

Pope Francis issued a powerful call for the protection of the environment and society’s most vulnerable. Photo courtesy RNS.

When you’re the pope, few things matter as much as what you say and, especially, where you say it.

From the pulpit of St. Peter’s Basilica or an outdoor altar erected in St. Peter’s Square, popes can command global media attention. Pope Francis, however, has settled in with a smaller congregation for his homilies that’s more in keeping with his low-key style.

Every day at 7 a.m., Francis celebrates Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, the Vatican’s hotel-style guesthouse he has chosen to call home instead of the luxurious papal apartments. His brief, colorful homilies are delivered to small groups of Vatican workers, from policemen to doctors and bank employees.