Pope Francis explained to the crowd why he was late for the noon Angelus. He begged the pardon of the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, explaining that he was late because he was stuck in a Vatican elevator and had to wait for help from firefighters.

“First of all, I have to apologise for the delay, but there was an accident: I was locked in the elevator for 25 minutes!” the pope said on September 1st, after arriving seven minutes late for the noon Angelus and reflection.

He explained that “there was a drop in voltage and the elevator stopped. Thank God the fire department came – I thank them so much! – and after 25 minutes of work they managed to make it go. A round of applause for the fire department!”

Pope Francis is usually very punctual for the regular Sunday appointment, for which he reads a short reflection and then prays a traditional Marian prayer, either the Angelus or the Regina Coeli, from a window inside the apostolic palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square.