New pictures of Pope Francis embracing and comforting a severely disfigured man have gone viral on the internet.
Last Wednesday, the leader of the world’s 1.3billion Catholics was greeting pilgrims following his weekly public audience when the man covered in neuronal tumors approached him, asking for a blessing.
The man suffers from a rare and painful disease called neurofibromatosis, which causes boils, impaired vision and in some cases cancer.
Patients suffering from the ailment, which is genetic and not contagious - are often shunned by society because of their appearance.
People were amazed when Pope Francis instead, kissed the man on the face and blessed him with the sign of the cross.
He was photographed with his eyes tightly shut in prayer for the man.