Pope Francis touched the nearly 50,000 attendees at Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square by embracing an ailing man who suffers from a disfiguring genetic disorder.
In a series of photos that have since gone viral, Pope Francis is seen praying, then placing his hands on the unnamed man, who then proceeds to bury his head in the pope’s chest.
According to the Catholic News Agency, the man suffers from neurofibromatosis, a disease that causes pain and tumors throughout the body, as well as a host of other hearing, vision, heart and nerve complications.
Pope Francis has previously encouraged increased interaction with people from all walks of life, especially the poor, weak and sick.
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