Something unscheduled and unpredictable happened during the General Audience that Pope Francis held in front of 7,000 faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall today. As he was greeting the faithful in various languages, the Pope was unexpectedly surprised to see a child standing in front of him. He had escaped from adult supervision and run up the white marble steps leading to the stage just to meet the Pope and embrace him. The Pope smiled, pleasantly surprised, and returned the hug and the greeting: “He is Argentine and undisciplined”, he joked, turning to Mgr. Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, who was sitting next to him. And he went on to greet the Spanish-speaking faithful, using his mother tongue to make some off-the-cuff remarks about what had just happened.
“This child cannot speak, but knows how to communicate”, he said: “He is free, undisciplined-ly free, but he is free!”, Pope Francis remarked, inviting those present to ask themselves: “Am I so free before Jesus? When Jesus says that we have to become like children, it means that we must have the freedom that a child has before his father”.