Everyone wants to be close to Pope Francis. A hug, a kiss, a handshake, a shared greeting.
At the beginning of the Holy Father’s January 8, 2020, General Audience in Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis experienced a humorous interacti0n with a nun, reported ANSA. While he walked in the middle lane of the Nervi Hall to greet the faithful, shaking hands and smiling and blessing, the Pontiff paused in front of an African nun who was shouting animatedly “Viva il Papa!” and he said to her, “You bite! I’ll give you a kiss but you stay calm…. Don’t bite!” Then he kissed her and continued on his way, according to ANSA.
Perhaps the Holy Father was determined that history would not repeat itself; after praying the Angelus on January 1, 2019, he asked pardon publicly for his impatient reaction with the woman who abruptly grabbed him the night of December 31, 2019, when he stepped into St. Peter’s Square to meditate near the Nativity Scene and to greet the crowds.
Reflecting on “the patience of love,” the Argentine Pope recalled that “love makes us patient.”
“So often, we lose patience,” he acknowledged.
After celebrating Vespers, in the Vatican Basilica on the 31st, the Pope went to St. Peter’s Square and he meditated in front of the manger. Before and after this visit to the crèche, the pope greeted those present, including kissing babies, greeting the disabled and crowds, and blessing children.
During these spontaneous greetings, often there are surprises, and occasionally some incidents. While walking through the crowds, a little boy fell from the railing and the Pope turned to bless him, offering him a rosary. Also, a choir sang for the Pope in English.
However, a woman grabbed the Pope’s hand, gripped it firmly, while he wanted to move away as if she did not want to let him go. This caused the 83-year-old Pope to lose his patience.
Recalling salvation in Christ is not “magic” but “patient,” Pope Francis this afternoon asked pardon for his impatience.