So what is the Pope to do when a little boy rushes his stage and steals the show?
Ignore the child and let him play, it seems.
A 6-year-old from Argentina walked on to the Vatican stage during Pope Francis’ papal audience.
The child delighted worshippers and the pontiff alike as he played on stage.
At Wednesday's public audience in the Vatican, a six-year-old boy escaped his mother’s grasp and made his way to the stage when Pope Francis was seated. The boy first went up to a Swiss guard and tugged on his uniform, apparently trying to see if the stoic soldier was real. Then he ran around the pope and tumbled on the floor. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters
Wenzel Wirth, 6, was amused by the Swiss guard and tugged on his gloved hands and pulled on the fringes of his blue and yellow striped uniform, much to the delight of the pontiff and the others who had collected there. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters
His mother rushed to the stage to pull Wenzel away. She explained to Francis that he is mute. Francis issued a decree, of sorts. Let him play. “This child cannot speak. He is mute. But he can communicate,” Francis said in Spanish to the crowd of pilgrims in the audience, who came to hear clerical leaders give a catechism lesson in various languages. “And he has something that got me thinking: He is free. Unruly … but he is free." Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters
As Wenzel continued to play on stage and roll around the granite floor, Pope Francis said, "When Jesus says we have to be like children, it means we need to have the freedom that a child has before his father. I think this child preaches to all of us. And let us ask for the grace of speech (for him)." Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters
The family lives in Verona and came to Rome just for the general audience. The father said the 6-year-old was tired after the long journey and clearly needed a run around after waiting for the Pope. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters