The Pope's celebrity fan club

Russell Crowe eagerly awaits the Pope

What do the God-Mother of punk, a wise-cracking comedian, the grizzled gladiator, and the billionaire media mogul have in common? It seems they're all just wild about Francis and part of a growing club, reports The Catholic Herald.

The recent 'selfie' snapped by celebrities at the Oscars sent the media into a frenzy of excitement at the eye-wateringly rich, famous and beautiful in front of a smartphone lens. Stars are rarely reputed for their love of humility and poverty.

Yet how many of these Oscar celebs, when asked about the new Pope, would gush about how amazing he is, citing values of which there are a paucity in Hollywood? Had Pope Francis been passing at the time of the most famous moment in the history of selfies he might well have been mobbed by 'Brangelina' and Meryl Streep begging him to join in.

Rightly or wrongly, Francis is increasingly regarded by celebrities as one of them and this has fostered the admiration of some unlikely fans.

Russell Crowe

Poor Russell Crowe. We remember him striding around the film set of Les Misérables in pursuit of Jean Valjean. With the same obsessive tenacity, Crowe reportedly turned up to the Vatican twice this year desperate to find Pope Francis and speak to him about his latest film, Noah.

'Look I’m not Catholic,' he protested on Good Morning America. 'I’ve never felt any connection with any previous pope, but I like this guy!' Crowe’s quest was not in vain. On his third attempt, he finally secured a few minutes with Francis and it seemed to live up to expectations: 'He’s changing the tone of the way you regard the Pope,' said Crowe, 'and I think it is a magnificent thing. I was very privileged and humbled to be in that environment.'

Patti Smith

When Patti Smith met Francis shortly after his election, it was billed as the meeting of 'the Punk and the Pope.' Smith, the rebel rocker chummy with the Russian activist group Pussy Riot, has journeyed to St Peter’s Square twice in order to see the Pontiff. On one occasion, the musician, famous for her album Horses, was pictured beaming and affectionately squeezing Francis’s hand. Rather than sleeping off the night’s gig, Patti was up bright and early for the general audience and concluded that the new Pope 'was very interesting' and that she liked him 'a lot.'

Judging by the photographs it appears that the feeling is mutual, even though Francis may be unfamilar with songs such as Gloria and Free Money.

READ FULL ARTICLE: Meet the Pope's unlikely celebrity fans (The Catholic Herald)

PHOTO: Russel Crowe waits with the crowds in Saint Peter's Square to meet with Pope Francis -March 19, 2014 - Source: Venturini/Bauer Griffin