Pope Francis stopped his official car in the middle of a highway to bless a young disabled woman. In a video posted online by the girl’s family, the 77-year-old pontiff stopped his car after seeing a banner asking him to bless their daughter. He then blessed her, kissed her and greeted her gathered family.
The Catholic News Agency says that the family waited at the side of the road for the Pope to pass. They held up banners reading “Please Pope stop here to see an angel who has been waiting for you” and “Please come and bless little Roberta”.
To their surprise and joy, the Pope asked his car to stop and immediately blessed Roberta, who was on a moveable stretcher.
The family later took to Facebook to express their gratitude.
“I still can’t believe it, thank you Holy Father…I thank the Pope for having given us a moment of great joy,” the woman’s sister, Pamela, wrote.
A friend who helped make the banners added: “Today we can say that Christ stopped in Sibari in the vestments of Pope Francis,” adding: “It was very emotional to see how Pope Francis greeted Roberta…there are gestures in life that are worth more than speeches, much more than you would think…Pope Francis is unique.”
The Pope made the blessing as he drove through the Calabria region of southern Italy after delivering a speech denouncing the mafia.
There was speculation about the Pope’s health last weekend after he cancelled a series of events. There have been fears that his heavy workload is taking its toll, yet he appears to be in good health in this latest impromptu act.