Pope Francis and his Popemobile are at it again making pit stops to bless, and anoint the sick. This time the Pope stopped his blue hatchback on a quiet country highway while traveling through Calabria, Italy, after a group of people with colorful banners caught the pontiff’s attention. The Italian-written banners were done by the family of a little girl named Roberta who is severely disabled.
The banners read: "Please Pope stop here to see an angel who has been waiting for you," and, "Please come and bless little Roberta." Roberta, whose surname is not yet known, is severely disabled that she cannot breathe unassisted, or travel very far from her home, the Vatican’s news.va website reported. Disregarding any danger, as he threatened to excommunicate members of the mafia from the Catholic Church just hours earlier, Pope Francis got out of the car to greet and bless the eager group, including Roberta.
Weeks before his pitstop in Calabria, Pope Francis revealed he wanted to discard the bullet-proof shield on his Popemoble. “It is true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose,” he said. Pope Francis is becoming a religious figure well-known for his spontaneity and “personal touch.”
Last year, the pontiff took 17-year-old Alberto di Tullio, a teen born with Down syndrome, for a spin in his Popemobile. It was that same year Pope Francis was also spotted picking up a child with cerebral palsy to give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek while circling St, Peter’s Square. The religious figure has shown a tremendous amount for support for special needs children.
Roberta’s family, most humbled by Pope’s Francis’ presence, hung a large banner in front of their house, which read, "Thank you very much!" in Italian.