Pope Francis made an unexpected stop in a small Italian town over the weekend to greet a young disabled woman and her family on the side of the road.
The pontiff was returning from a visit to the southern region of Calabria, where he spoke out against the Mafia, when he spotted a group of people with signs. They held banners reading, “Please, pope, stop here to see an angel who has been waiting for you” and “Please come and bless little Roberta,” according to the Vatican’s news website.
A video posted on Facebook by a man in the crowd shows Pope Francis stepping out of the backseat of his car and greeting the group. He bent down and kissed the forehead of Roberta, a disabled young woman lying on a stretcher, to cheers of “bravo” and “grazie,” before shaking hands with her friends and family.
Roberta’s family showed their appreciation with a large banner in front of their house, which read, “Thank you very much” in Italian.