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Mark Wahlberg Says Pope Francis Asked Him For Prayer (But Didn't Understand His Ted Joke)

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When Mark Wahlberg met Pope Francis, you may be surprised which of the two men asked for the other’s help.

“He asked me to pray for him,” Wahlberg told PEOPLE in Boston on Thursday evening at the grand opening of the latest Wahlburgers restaurant in the city’s Fenway neighborhood.

“He’s a man with a lot of responsibilities, so he’s always in my thoughts. He’s an amazing man,” the actor continued.

The Ted 2 star, 44, greeted Pope Francis in Philadelphia earlier this week, and said meeting the Catholic icon “was very, very, very, special” and a “lifetime opportunity.” He also said he had his personal rosary blessed by Francis.


However, Mark said Pope Francis wasn’t as familiar with his films as the rest of the crowd.

“He doesn’t watch much television, so he didn’t really get the Ted joke,” Wahlberg told PEOPLE, after joking at the World Meeting of Families last month in Philadelphia that he hoped "the good Lord has a sense of humor."

The father-of-four was joined at the restaurant opening by brothers Donnie and Paul, and mother Alma – who all appear on their A&E show, Wahlburgers.

The Wahlburgers matriarch was clearly the most excited family member regarding her son’s meeting with the head of the Catholic Church, calling the pope “unbelievable.”

A meeting with the pontiff also seemingly buoyed Mark’s willpower, as he opted against indulging in his own restaurant’s burgers since he’s currently in training for a film. Instead, he said he settled for a piece of fish earlier Thursday evening.

“It’s torture being here right now,” he told PEOPLE, adding that his favorite item on the menu is the Thanksgiving burger.

Still, the star had a good time while back on his home turf. Earlier this week, he hit the links at Waverly Oaks Golf Club in Plymouth with a group that included the real-life version of Entourage character Johnny Drama: Johnny "Drama’" Alves.