Mgr Alfred Xuereb (right) unfolding the Papal drape on the Pontiff's window before Pope Benedict's final Angelus last month.
Gozitan Mgr Alfred Xuereb has been officially appointed as Pope Francis's private secretary after having served for five years as second secretary to Pope Benedict XVI.
The news was announced this afternoon by ANSA news agency which said that Pope Francis - who will be officially inaugurated tomorrow in St. Peter's - was promoted to special, private secretary.
Pope Francis is reported to have met with Mgr Xuereb and offered him the post.
Xuereb was appointed by Benedict to serve as the transitional secretary to his successor, a move which new Pontiff Jorge Mario Bergoglio used to promote Xuereb as his own private secretary. The decision is based on Xuereb's experience in serving Benedict for the past seven years.
Meanwhile, President George Abela, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Opposition leader Lawrence Gonzi will be heading an official delegation to the Vatican tomorrow for Pope Francis official inauguration.
Some 300 Maltese nationals are also reported to be travelling to Rome tomorrow to attend the inauguration, which is expected to attract some 150 delegations from around the world and some one million pilgrims.