I’d imagine the man is not used to being embraced like that — not by strangers, maybe not even by family and friends.
But the Pope is a lover and, as I’ve mentioned before, a hugger.
A photo of the embrace went viral (as it should have):
According to CNN:
The man the Pope comforted suffers from neurofibromatosis, according to the Catholic News Agency. The genetic disorder causes pain and thousands of tumors throughout the body. It leads to hearing and vision loss, heart and blood vessel complications, and severe disability from nerve compression by tumors.
Earlier today, Papa Frank tweeted the following: 11h
Saints are people who belong fully to God. They are not afraid of being mocked, misunderstood or marginalized.
I can’t help but wonder whether Papa Frank was thinking of that man when he tweeted that.
Also Wednesday at the general audience, @Pontifex congratulated a newlywed couple who are members of L’Associazione Arcobaleno Marco Iagulli-Onlus (an organization that uses clowns and humor to cheer sick children). They’re known by their red plastic noses — the international symbol for healing humor (think Patch Adams). They couple were wearing their wedding garb and their noses.
So Papa Frank put a nose on, too. (Have I said today how much I love this guy?)