The boy was one of a small group of children invited to sit on the stage Saturday while the pope spoke in St. Peter's Square, BuzzFeed reported. He got up and wandered over to the pope, resisting cardinals who tried to move him back to his place.
The child then joined in, escorting people to meet the pope. At one point, when officials tried once more to move him back to his place, he wrapped his arms around one of the pope's legs.
Francis took the whole thing in stride, patting the boy on the head and sitting him down in his own chair while he continued to speak.
The pope's homily was on the importance of family life for the church and the world, Catholic World Report said. He urged parents to "waste time" with their children.
"The free gift of a parent's time is so important," he said.