Pope Francis tripped and fell while approaching the altar at Poland’s holiest shrine, the Jasna Góra Monastery, on Thursday, July 28, but he was back on his feet in no time and proceeded as planned with his homily.
The 79-year-old pontiff was approaching the shrine surrounded by several priests when, seemingly lost in thought, he stumbled and fell to the ground. Several nearby priests rushed to help him back to his feet, and Francis brushed himself off and continued with the procession.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told the Associated Press that “the pope is fine” following his fall, and Czestochowa Archbishop Waclaw Depo told the Chicago Tribune, “He is in good condition. He did not even complain at all. He never said a word. Also, the homily showed that the pope has strength and this strength he gets from the people.”
Tens of thousands of worshippers gathered Thursday to hear Pope Francis speak. It was the first time he has ever set foot in Eastern Europe; Francis’ predecessor Pope John Paul II was beloved in Poland.
During the mass, Francis urged the Poles to stay united in light of dissenting views over refugees and migrants, and prayed that Poles would have “the desire to leave behind all past wrongs and wounds, and to build fellowship for all, without ever yielding to the temptation to withdraw or to domineer.”
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