Pope Francis has said that to retain a sense of peace he writes down all his problems in notes to St Joseph.

During an audience with religious superiors, the Pope said there was “corruption” in the Vatican but that he was at peace. When asked by one of the superiors about how he keeps his sense of peace, Pope Francis joked that he didn’t take tranquillisers.

He said: “The Italians offer a good lesson – to live in peace you need a healthy ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude. I don’t mind telling you that what I am going through is a completely new experience for me.

“In Buenos Aires I was more anxious, I admit it. I felt more tense and worried. Basically I wasn’t like I am now.

“From the moment I was elected I had a very particular feeling of profound peace. And that has never left me. I am at peace. I don’t know how to explain it.” He added: “There is corruption in the Vatican.”

If a problem comes up, Francis explained that he writes it down on a piece of paper and puts it underneath a statue of a sleeping St Joseph which he has in his room. “Now he sleeps on a mattress of notes!” the Pope said, explaining that this is why “I sleep well: it is the grace of God.”

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week