Pope Francis surprised hundreds of commuters when he rode on a train to a Mass in Deajeon, Korea, instead of a helicopter
He has built a reputation for his down-to-earth style and has no patience for pomp.
But even so, Pope Francis surprised hundreds of ordinary commuters when he took public transport to celebrate a Mass in Korea where he is on a five day visit.
The pope scrapped his plans to take a helicopter from Seoul to his first public Mass instead taking a local train to Daejeon, where he held a service at a football stadium in the city.
Francis was seen riding in the fourth car of the train, in first-class, while another 500 people were on board, Korean media reported.
The last-minute change in plans was on account of bad weather, according to organisers of the visit.
Spokesman Hur Young-yup told Yonhap news agency: 'The helicopter is his default means of transit because it is fast and safe, but the pontiff also considers other options, like the train, if taking them would allow him to arrive on schedule.'
Pope Francis' pared back humble demeanour has taken locals in status-conscious, ostentatious, Korea by surprise.
Having refused a Popemobile and instead requesting Korea’s smallest compact car, he arrived from the airport in a black Kia Soul that many South Koreans would consider beneath his status as a global figure.
One South Korean user tweeted: 'The pope rode the Soul because he is full of soul.'
Shon Cho-eun, a 22-year-old Christian student said: 'I feel honoured that Pope Francis will not be in a bulletproof vehicle. I hope he arrives safely and delivers good messages to us.'
Francis has already surprised several Koreans by using a Kia Soul - something many South Koreans see as beneath his global status - as his 'Popemobile' during his five-day visit
Francis has also rejected bullet proof popemobiles' , sparking security concerns on previous foreign trips such, as last year's trip to Rio.
He has urged priests around the world to travel in low-key cars.
In the Vatican he is driven around in a Ford Focus.