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The Simple Thing Pope Francis Did to a Severely Disfigured Man That Has Captivated the World

The Blaze

Pope Francis took the time Wednesday to do one simple thing that has now captivated the globe: He embraced and prayed with a man covered in tumors in St. Peter's Square.

The encounter between the pontiff and the unnamed individual reportedly took place after Francis addressed his general audience, when the man approached the Catholic leader and asked to be blessed.

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors

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The man reportedly suffers from neurofibromatosis, which according to the Mayo Clinic is a "genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in your nervous system, causing tumors to form on nerve tissue." It is not contagious.

While individuals with neurofibromatosis are sometimes shunned because of their appearance, Francis wasted no time kissing the man's face, embracing him and offering up a blessing.

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors

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The response to the pontiff's action was strong, with The Washington Post noting that it reminded some of Matthew 8, a Bible chapter in which Jesus heals a leper. And there's also his namesake St. Francis Assisi, the 13th century Catholic friar who was said to have once kissed a leper.

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors

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Among those commending the pope was the star of "The Middle" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," actress Patricia Heaton. Heaton, a Christian, tweeted, "How much do I love (Pope Francis)? SO much."

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors

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We will be discussing this story and all the day's news on our live BlazeCast with Editor-in-Chief Scott Baker (@bakerlink) beginning at 2:00 pm ET:

Here are some of the other responses floating around Twitter:

Pope Francis kisses a man plagued with boils. He reminds me of a Jewish Carpenter from Nazareth. http://t.co/UbIAUr6ZUl

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
November 7, 2013 9:12am via PinterestReplyRetweetFavorite
Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
@wkeithmoore
The Wineskins
Picture of the year. Makes u think how lucky some of us are.Pope Francis kisses & hugs disfgured man http://t.co/Ikw8oa9Zzw via @

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
November 7, 2013 9:10am via Tweet ButtonReplyRetweetFavorite
Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
@jasperm0ss
jaspermoss
A touching picture showing the love of Christ: Pope Francis kisses severely disfigured man http://t.co/92xhMngCAo

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
November 7, 2013 9:07am via iOSReplyRetweetFavorite
Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
@Americasgarden
Tamala Irish
Ladies and gentleman: the Gospel: "Pope Francis Kisses Severely Disfigured Man & Prays With Him" http://t.co/u2eOdLDyH0

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
November 7, 2013 9:00am via BufferReplyRetweetFavorite
Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
@PaulBurkhart_
Paul Burkhart
Pope Francis is the Pontiff I've been waiting for!!! Love this man http://t.co/cmyQ7bqF4k

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Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors
November 7, 2013 8:55am via webReplyRetweetFavorite
Pope Francis Blesses Severely Disfigured Man Covered in Tumors

Pope Francis has repeatedly tweeted and spoken out about the importance of caring for the poor and infirm. It seems he's putting his words into action.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

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