Pope Francis began the New Year with an apology for losing his patience the night before with a woman who grabbed his hand and yanked him closer to her while he was greeting people in St Peter’s Square.
To get away, the pope had slapped her hand and gave her a very serious scowl. A video of the incident went viral on Twitter.
Reciting the midday Angelus prayer on 1st January, Pope Francis was talking about how God’s offer of salvation in Jesus is “not magic, but patient, that is, it involves the patience of love, which takes on inequity and destroys its power.”
Then, briefly departing from his prepared text, the pope said that “love makes us patient. We often lose our patience; me, too, and I apologise for my bad example last night.”
Returning to his text, Pope Francis said that in gazing upon the Nativity scene with the eyes of faith, “we see the world renewed, freed from the dominion of evil and placed under the regal lordship of Christ, the baby lying in the manger.”
The Church marks 1st January as both the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and World Peace Day, he said, urging Catholics to pray for peace and to recognise their responsibility to work for peace.
Picture: Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 1st January 2020. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).