As the Holy Father walked around during the televised Mass, he fell straight to the ground next to the steps leading to the altar. Millions of viewers held their breath as the pontiff was helped up by the Vatican Master of Ceremonies, Guido Marini.
It has become common knowledge that our 79-year-old pope suffers from poor health and often asks the faithful to pray for him. Pope Francis suffers from sciatica, which sometimes sends a shooting pain down his lower back to his leg. In November 2015, the pontiff was also reported falling more than once in a short period.
Fortunately, he did not suffer any injury from his fall and went on to finish the event
Throughout the remainder of the mass, meant to mark the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s Catholic faith, Pope Francis thanked Poles “for holding on to their faith in difficult times,” and praised the native St. John Paul II, describing him as “meek and powerful.”
Following Mass, the Pope jumped in his popemobile and traveled through crowds of cheering people.
“We slept so little, but it’s worth it, what an atmosphere!” said Pilgrim Kate Tor, who was one of the thousands of people who camped out for the opportunity to see Pope Francis.
A massive amount of security, including visible police, army, fire-engines and ambulances, was set up at the Monastery and during the pope’s tour. The Polish officials were taking no chances in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, especially the tragedy involving Fr. Jacques Hamel.
After his visit with the Black Madonna, Pope Francis returned to Krakow for his first big World Youth Day 2016 event, the welcome ceremony where he was joined by 15 disabled youth and their family members.
“Now go and do your duty, make noise all night long,” Pope Francis shared with the anxious youth later in the evening during his first appearance at the Papal Window in the Bishop’s Residence in Krakow.
Even though Pope Francis’ first day in Poland may have ended on a high note, we must always keep our pope in our prayers. He is expected to continue his scheduled travels over the next couple of days.