I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the latest news from Vatican City, but this Pope Francis dude is a
goddamn righteous MFer. A couple weeks back, yours truly was moved by a very poignant moment in which Francis greeted and blessed a severely disfigured Italian man who has basically spent his life being shunned by society:
When Vinicio Riva traveled to Vatican City in early November to meet Pope Francis, he expected the same treatment he’s gotten his entire life—open-mouthed stares and thinly-veiled apprehension. People are usually afraid to come close to the hundreds of boils that cover Riva’s body, fearing that his very presence could make them sick, too.
The man thought that the Pope would speak to his aunt, who made the pilgrimage with him. He thought he would only get a cursory glance.
But instead, Francis headed straight towards Riva, wrapped his arms around the man’s head and pulled him in for a tight embrace.
The encounter had a profound effect on Vinicio, who felt like he had the proverbial “new lease on life” afterwards. But, if you think blessing people in broad daylight is all Pope Francis is about, you’re sorely mistaken. In the last week, we’ve found out two more awesomely badass things:
The guy was a nightclub bouncer in his earlier years, and, now that he’s the friggin’ Pope, he’s going out in disguise after curfew to bless his loyal subjects (okay, I made that up, I don’t think the Pope has a curfew, because he’s the friggin’ Pope, remember?). But he is going out in disguise at night to meet with the poor, sick and the aged:
A knowledgable source in Rome told The Huffington Post that “Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”
(Vatican Almoner Konrad) Krajewski earlier said, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me,” and he merely smiled and ducked the question when reporters asked him point-blank whether the Pope accompanied him into the city.
Francis isn’t the first Pope in history to take nightly strolls through Rome, but the mere fact he’s doing it, coupled with other very un-Pope-like behavior (at least, based on recent history), is very refreshing. Keep doin’ your thing, Francis.