Pope Francis kisses 19-month-old Daniele De Sanctis, who showed up at the pontiff’s general audience in St Peter's Square on Wednesday dressed in a pope costume of his own.
De Sanctis was hoisted up to Francis as he drove by in his open-topped jeep. Another child dressed in a similar white cassock and white skullcap was also on hand, as were kids dressed as Swiss Guards.
During Carnival in Italy, children often go to school and spend their weekends dressed up in pirate, princess — and now pope — costumes. Carnival, also known as mardi gras, marks the period before the church's solemn Lenten season begins.