Posted in Inspiration

That hug from the pope “felt like paradise”

CNS Blog

VATICAN CITY — When an Italian photographer published images of Pope Francis embracing a man disfigured by neurofibromatosis, no one knew his name or where he was from.

Two Italian news outlets have found the man and interviewed him about that morning  Nov. 6 in St. Peter’s Square. He said the pope’s embrace felt like being in heaven.

“My heart was bursting,” he told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. When the pope hugged him tight, “I felt like I was in paradise.”

Vinicio Riva, 53, lives in a small village near Vicenza in northern Italy with his younger sister Morena, who has the same genetic disorder, and their Aunt Caterina, who cares for them.

Vinicio told the Italian magazine Panorama that the thing that struck him most was that the pope didn’t hesitate at all.

“I’m not contagious, but (the pope) didn’t know that. But he did it…

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Author:

I’m usually a laid back person. I love to read. I’m a history nerd. If I could go back in time and meet just one person it would probably be Pope John Paul II. I’m married to my best friend. Fall is my favorite season. The Giant Panda is my favorite animal. I love it when you go somewhere, see something, or even eat something and it bring back memories from your past. I love the smell of rain. Oh, and by the way, I’m Leila (lie-luh).

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