Pope Francis says when he wanted to know the secret of being joyful he asked a "tiny granny with shining eyes" and got an unexpected answer: homemade ravioli.

Addressing a Catholic youth organization Friday, Francis recounted how during one of his public audiences in St. Peter's Square, he made his driver stop the popemobile so he could chat with a petite 92-year-old woman whose joyful eyes caught his attention.

Francis recalled saying, "Tell me your recipe" for joy.

She replied: "I eat ravioli," then added: "I make them."

The pope urged young people to value the elderly for their often surprising perspectives on life.

He adds that he experiences "deep joy" in finding true peace in the Lord.