Last week, Pope Francis visited an old friend’s record store in Rome and left with a classical vinyl.

It left people wondering – what kind of music does Pope Francis have in his library?

According to the cardinal that curates his collection: nearly 2,000 CDs and 20 vinyl records!

That’s why Cardinal Ravasi wasn’t surprised when he heard the news of Pope Francis’ walking out of the Stereosound record store in Rome with new music in hand.

“In fact, I can’t wait to find out what it is. I hope he sends it to me soon.”  

It all started when President of the Pontifical Council for Culture Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi received a few CDs from Pope Francis over three years ago, who said he knew how much the cardinal enjoyed music like him.

“I replied that I would love to know what music he likes and that’s how it started. I told him I was thinking of creating a music library and, at one point, he sent me a whole box of discs saying, ‘I’ve already listened to these.'”

Since then, Cardinal Ravasi and the culture office have catalogued and keep a detailed record of 1,728 CDs and 19 record albums they’ve received from Pope Francis. While many of them are gifts he has received some came from his own personal collection, spanning a myriad of genres.

Mostly classical music, it also has Édith Piaf’s greatest hits, Argentine tango tunes, and a 25-disc collection of Elvis Presley’s Gospel songs.

Each piece Ravasi receives is sent with “extraordinary, expert” handwritten comments.

“You can see that he listens to the music carefully.”

Ravasi added that Pope Francis’ love of music started when he listened to an opera on the radio with his mother when he was a boy.

“He sent me the complete collection of recordings at the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires.” 

“Indicative of his personality and culture,” Ravasi wants to eventually publish Pope Francis’ collection one day and make it available to experts.

Pope Francis also commented on the story of his record store visit in a reply to the reporter that was there to witness the moment.

He thanked Rome Reports director Javier Martínez-Brocal for his “noble” duty and “for fulfilling your vocation, even if it means giving the Pope a hard time.”

“We must not lose our sense of humor. One cannot deny that it was a ‘terrible fate’ that, after taking all precautions, there was a journalist waiting for someone at the cab stop. What I miss most in this Diocese is not being able to ‘wander the streets,’ as I did in Buenos Aires, walking from one parish to another.”

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