Powerful pictures should make more than headlines

VATICAN CITY — It was to have hands and be able to touch and heal people that Christ became human, Pope Francis has said.

Pope greets man with disability after Mass in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greeting a man with a disability after celebrating a Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

“God meddles in our miseries, he approaches our wounds and heals them with his hands; it was to have hands he became man.”

“God does not save us only by decree, with a law, he saves us with tenderness, he saves us with caresses, he saves us with his life given for us.”

Pope Francis Oct. 22 homily

Pope Francis' General Audience

Pope Francis embracing a man at the Nov. 6 general audience in St. Peter’s Square. (CNS photo/Claudio Peri, EPA)

This passage seemed appropriate to accompany the pictures of Pope Francis embracing and kissing a man disfigured by neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder resulting in numerous, often painful, tumors.

The gesture at yesterday’s general audience has grabbed people’s attention, as well as news headlines.

But, every time we are struck by such poignant and moving movements, we should also consider something else the pope has said.

Pope visits St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro

Pope Francis greeting a young man as he visits St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro July 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The people behind the picture aren’t just an image to be digested and forgotten with the next news cycle; they are people who need to be heard every day:

“In the people we find the wounds of Jesus. Jesus hidden in the Eucharist and Jesus hidden in these wounds. They need to be heard!

Maybe not so much in newspapers as news; there they take notice for one, two, three days, then something else comes up, and another thing. The wounds should be heard by those who call themselves Christian.

Pope Francis meeting with children Oct. 4 in Assisi

As gestures often communicate more powerfully than words, we’re sharing some of our favorite Francis moments and inviting people to think about the message: What is it that needs to be heard and then lived?

Pope embraces young woman during encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia

Pope Francis embraces a young woman during an encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia, Sept. 22. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets people in wheelchairs after celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greets people in wheelchairs after celebrating a Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 16. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets woman during general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greets a woman during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope leads Benediction during vigil to pray for peace in Syria

Pope Francis leading Benediction during a vigil to pray for peace in Syria Sept. 7 in St. Peter’s Square. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis blesses boy during visit to slum complex in Brazil

Pope Francis blessing a boy in the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro July 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets young man after spin in popemobile chair during general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greets Alberto di Tullio, 17, after letting him sit and spin around in the popemobile chair during the general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 19. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Child waves a flag as Pope Francis arrives at the Caritas residence in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi

A child waves a flag as Pope Francis arrives at the Caritas residence in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi Oct. 4. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)

Pope Francis embraces emeritus Pope Benedict XVI at papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo

Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI embracing at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, March 23. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis kisses foot of prisoner at prison for minors in Rome

Pope Francis kisses the foot of a prison inmate during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at Rome’s Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility March 28. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis poses with youths during meeting with young people in St. Peter's Basilica at Vatican

Pope Francis during a meeting with young people from the northern Italian diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio in St. Peter’s Basilica Aug. 28. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis touches the head of a child during special event for families in St. Peter's Square

Pope Francis touches the head of a child during a Year of Faith celebration of the family in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 26. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis I leads prayer as he appears for first time on balcony of St. Peter's Basilica

Pope Francis bowing and asking people to pray for him after he appeared for the first time on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after his election March 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

13 Responses

  1. The world is truly blessed by a man with the heart of Jesus… I am in awe every time I hear of Pope Francis’s actions…

  2. Reblogged this on Sandys Hopeful Room and commented:
    Never have I seen so much Jesus in one man! I am in awe of this Pope and the message he bears. . .be Christ to one another, be his hands and feet and eyes and heart. . .this is the true message.

    May you be blessed as you read this article.

  3. The greatest pope has finally arrived.

  4. May God Bless you, Papa!

  5. Oh most holy, Pope Francis. It is with pure heart that I ask you to pray for the relief of suffering and pain of all those who are sick in body and mind. I ask these favors through Christ our Lord, Amen.

    I love you!

  6. The world is truly blessed having a man like Pope Francis caring for each and every soul living here! It is truly heartwarming seeing how humble he is with a such a loving and kind heart! Truly spiritual inside out!

  7. He makes me want to be a better human being.

  8. Thank you for these beautiful, blessed moments.

  9. I know he was sent by God to heal the world at his time he is truly a Saint sent to bless us all with his messages he gives us.They
    truly are beautiful moments.

  10. Wonderful servant of God and shepherd indeed. Since he become pope I have always looked forward to what next he will say, do and what he will be pointing at next. He has always given me hope. I thank God for him. May God bless him with good health and with every day wisdom to guide to God’s flock and the church.

  11. I have to be carefull in this times of alegations, speculations, marginalism, polarism, racim, religious false prophets, famines and wars, to hopefull for a litle time, and the Popal path is becomed clearer.

    And I also know what we all have forgotten, in this barbaric times, the human tutch, sometimes more than anything else, the bringer of peace, action have since time immemorial, been louder than words.

    I, hope the future will be about Humans and our comon future, we forgott our god given rights, and its obligations that followed with this packt when we entered this Paradise.
    We forgott our responcebility, for the coming generations, with insanely greedy and carless policys, this is humanitys greates obstacle to a greater future where Peace regins, and we talk to eatch others, than using sticks.

    Are we at all, civilaised and capable of behaving acordingly, regadrless of whatever the manifestations of our creator must popp up infront of our very own eyes.
    This, should be the focus, the rest is minor at best, deliberate divertions at wurst.

    peace

    “I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
    ― Helen Keller

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