The pontiff was outside St. Peter’s Basilica on New Year’s Eve, walking down the rope line, stopping to shake hands with the cheering crowd, and there was a woman crosses herself and folds her hands, as if in prayer, as the pope draws closer. She stares intently, but he has begun to turn away. She reaches out and grabs him, with one hand, then another. She yanks him backward and will not let go.
The Pope reacted sharply, exclaimed something and then slapped her hand so she would let him go. In his impromptu remarks on Wednesday, Francis said people often lose patience, including him.
“Love makes us patient,” he said, adding, after briefly choking up, “We often lose our patience; me, too, and I apologize for my bad example last night.”