We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $18,113 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Disfigured man 'felt only love' when embraced by Pope Francis

Catholic World News - November 18, 2013

The disfigured man who was embraced by Pope Francis in an iconic photograph said that I felt only love” during the encounter.

Vinicio Riva, whose body is covered with tumors because neurofibromatosis, told an Italian magazine that he tried to speak to the Pontiff, but the powerful emotions of the moment silenced him. "It all lasted not more than a minute, but it seemed an eternity," he said.

The image of Pope Francis hugging Riva and kissing his head-- which is severely misshapen because of the tumors-- quickly spread across the world, forming a powerful image of the Pontiff's care. The fact that the Pope “didn’t think twice about embracing me” was a shock, Riva told Panorama. “I’m not contagious, but he didn’t know that.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($18,113 to go):
$25,400.00 $7,287.00
71% 29%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Sacramental Issues, among Others 16 hours ago
Beyond Our Ken: Henri de Lubac's Paradoxes of Faith May 4
The French campaign for freedom of thought May 4
Climate Change and Vatican II: Insights! May 1
Are Catholic schools Catholic? A strange case in San Francisco. May 1

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21