Pope Francis has drawn accolades during his first year as the leader of the Catholic Church for his heartfelt desire to support and affirm the dignity of disabled people. In a world where disabled babies are aborted and persons with disabilities face pressure to take their own lives in assisted suicides or are killed in euthanasia, his desire to take time to minister to such people is a tremendous statement about their values as people and their right to life.
The Catholic News Agency filed a report on what happened in the video:
During his June 21 pastoral visit to the region of Calabria in southern Italy, Pope Francis stopped the car that was transporting him to see a young disabled woman and her family on the side of the road.
A video posted online by a family in the southern Italian region of Calabria depicts the encounter with the Holy Father.
The Pope passed by the highway near the family’s house as he returned from Cassano allo Jonio, where he spoke out against the mafia.
The Vatican’s news.va website reported that family members waited with banners reading, ‘Please Pope stop here to see an angel who has been waiting for you’, and ‘Please come and bless little Roberta’.
When the Pope saw their signs, he asked for his car to stop, and immediately went to greet and bless the people.
Once the vehicle stopped, the Holy Father descended, approached the woman, who was laying on a moving stretcher, blessed her, kissed her and greeted her family and the children around her.
The young woman – Roberta – is disabled and cannot travel far from her home, because she is dependent upon a machine to breathe, according to news.va.