June 19, 2013 ( – During his usual drive around St. Peter’s Square following his Wednesday general audience today, Pope Francis stopped to embrace a teen with Down syndrome.

But when the teen then pointed up to the Popemobile, Pope Francis invited him to join him on the famous vehicle. 

The teen sat in the pope’s white seat while the Popemobile continued to wade through the crowds of tens of thousands, and the pontiff greeted the faithful. 


The teen’s father told the Associated Press that he choked up when he saw the pope approaching. “The pope saw him, embraced him. Then Alberto pointed to the car, and so he brought him up!” he said. 

Since his election, Pope Francis has repeatedly shown special attention to those with disabilities, often descending from the Popemobile to greet and embrace them. 

Photos of the pontiff embracing Dominic Gondreau, who has cerebral palsy, following his Easter Sunday Mass this year quickly rocketed around the globe. 

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