My Italian photographerI had invited our Italian disciple Giorgio to come with me when I went to see the Pope. He does not speak English; he does not even speak French. And I don't speak Italian. So we talked through our smile — no the language, only smiling language we understood.
Giorgio went with me to take pictures, because with the previous Pope we had had problems. The first time I saw Pope Paul VI, we got good pictures. The second time, nothing that was taken by the Vatican photographers ever came out. The third time I was there, the Vatican photographer came to me and asked how many pictures we wanted taken. But when I actually met with the Pope, that was the moment that the photographer left the room. We were looking for him, but he had gone.
This time, with Pope John Paul II, we didn't take any chances. I was allowed to bring one person, so as a friend and a student Giorgio came with me. Another reason I took him was because he speaks Italian.