The 77-year-old pope, who is originally from Argentina, was delivering a sermon in Italian about bringing peace to Ukraine from the window of his apartment at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace when he stumbled over the word "caso," meaning a case or example, and instead said "cazzo," the Italian version of the four-letter f-word, British newspaper the Daily Express reported Monday.
"I make a heartfelt appeal to the international community to support every initiative on behalf of dialogue and harmony. A heart full of longing for possession is a heart empty of God. For this, Jesus many times chastised the rich because the risk for them to seek security in the wealth of this world is high," Pope Francis said in Italian.
"In this [expletive], in this case the providence of God is made visible as gesture of solidarity," he said.
Despite the pope's quick correction, news of Francis' accidental profanity use quickly spread and a video of the pontiff's remarks quickly went viral, gathering more than 44,000 views on YouTube as of Monday.
Several online commenters said the word mixup is a common mistake among native Spanish speakers taking on Italian.