Pope Francis stops car to kiss disabled girl

A family flagged down the Pope's car using signs at the side of the road

Pope Francis surprised the residents in a small Italian town on the weekend when he stopped his motorcade to meet a young disabled girl and her family who had waited for him by the side of the road.

The Holy See and his entourage were travelling on a road near the home of the Catholic family, when he noticed the family holding banners reading:  'Please Pope stop here to see an angel who has been waiting for you', and 'Please come and bless little Roberta', the Catholic News Agency reported.

A video uploaded by the family on Facebook shows the Pope step out from his car as Roberta, who is lying in a stretcher, is taken by her family to meet him.

The pontiff then kisses Roberta, who needs a machine to enable her to breathe, according to news.va.


Her family voiced their gratitude to the Holy Father on Facebook.

“I still can't believe it, thank you Holy Father...I thank the Pope for having given us a moment of great joy,” her sister, Pamela, wrote.

Ivan Vania, a friend who helped make the posters calling the Pope’s attention said on the website: “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.”


Pope Francis met Roberta on his return from Cassano allo Jonio, where he excommunicated the Mafia and called out the organisation for what he saw was its “adoration of evil and contempt”.

During his tenure, the Pope has been praised for attempting to refresh the Catholic Church by renouncing privileges he is entitled to, and attempting to focus attention on how Catholics can help the poor and vulnerable.

Earlier in June, the Pope removed the entire board of the Holy City's financial watchdog, in an attempt to clean up the Institute of Religious Works (IOR) bank which has been mired in scandal.