Nov. 27 (UPI)-- Pope Francis' embrace of a disfigured man, covered in boils, made headlines earlier this month and now that man is opening up about his welcoming encounter with the leader of the Catholic Church.
On November 9, Vinicio Riva, whose boils are caused by neurofibromatosis type 1, traveled with his aunt and others from northern Italy to the Vatican to attend a morning public audience with the Holy Father. As the general audience concluded, the pope greeted the pilgrims. What happened next was widely broadcast. Images captured the papal embrace as Pope Francis cradled Riva's face, kissed him, and blessed him.