Pope Francis has made a surprise appearance in Sydney this morning to announce the canonisation of ABC Radio National presenter Fran Kelly.
His Holiness walked unannounced into the RN Breakfast studio to break the news to a shocked Kelly who was on air for the last time as host of the program she has fronted for the past 17 years. (main picture)
“I must admit I’d never heard of you Fran until a week or so ago when you announced you’d be leaving RN Breakfast,” Pope Francis said.
“But since then I have been advised by church officials in Australia of the constant and repeated messages of thanks and support you have received on air from so many people.
“I couldn’t ignore the sentiments being expressed which is why I flew overnight from Rome to be here.
“So, as one ‘Fran’ to another I can let you and your listeners know that I have fast-tracked your canonisation so that you can end your last program today as Saint Fran.
“I would normally have said ‘Saint Frances’ but that might just be confusing.”
A tearful Kelly thanked His Holiness for the honour and asked him to stay for an interview, which he politely declined.
When questioned, Vatican officials travelling with Pope Francis detailed the miracle Kelly had performed as a criterion for sainthood.
“It was that time she had Barnaby Joyce on the line for a live phone interview just after 10am and she was able to make sense of his comments for her listeners,” the official said.