As Pope Francis made his way through thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Easter Sunday, he plucked a boy with cerebral palsy from the crowd, creating an image that’s gone viral.
Dominic Gondreau, 8, who is from Rhode Island, was spotted by the pope while he traversed the square in his popemobile following mass on Sunday. The boy was lifted up to embrace the pontiff, who gave him a kiss.
Since then, images of the special moment between the two have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, on NBC Nightly News and CNN, among others.
Gondreau’s father, Paul Gondreau, wrote in a blog post that his family and all those around them were “moved to tears” by the interaction.
“Pope Francis bestowed an extraordinary Easter blessing upon my family when he performed such an act in embracing my son, Dominic, who has cerebral palsy,” wrote Paul Gondreau, a faculty member at Providence College in Rhode Island who is spending the semester in Rome with his family. “His Easter embrace of my son stands out as a compelling witness to the kind of ‘poverty’ that he urges us to adopt.”