A small boy strolled up to Pope Francis during his Good Friday service, in a surprising exchange at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
The boy was followed by a few other children who hugged and chatted with the Pope.
The children were part of a special Stations of the Cross ceremony and came from foster care homes, a Scout group and a local Catholic church.
Francis chooses a group of people annually to write and read the prayers for the service.
The children formed the 2021 group and also produced some drawings for the event.
The pictures and prayers represent the 14 “stations” or events leading up to the death of Jesus, which is commemorated on Good Friday.
The Sistine Chapel choir were also in attendance and sang “Crux Fidelis,” a Gregorian chant.
Traditionally crowds flock to St. Peter’s Square for Good Friday and the Easter period but due to coronavirus restrictions, the area was largely empty with only the Pope, some guests and the children in attendance.
This is the second Easter where social distancing restrictions have limited the numbers of worshipers in Rome.
The Pope was also seen prostrating himself on the floor of St. Peter’s Basilica during a service on Friday.
He will hold an Easter Sunday mass at the Vatican on April 4, which will be followed by a papal blessing.
Delia Gallagher reported from Rome. Zamira Rahim wrote in London.