Pope Francis' compassionate nature was poignantly captured in an instantly iconic image of him tenderly comforting a sick man by kissing him on the head.
At the end of his General Audience in Vatican City on Wednesday, when 50,000 attendees gathered with him, someone snapped the picture of the pontiff:
Francis embraced the man afflicted with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes pain and the formation of thousands of tumors on the body.
In the photo, the unnamed man buries his head in Francis' robes as the Pope puts his hand on his head, an image that went viral almost immediately.
Francis then leaned in to kiss the ailing man.
"True charity requires courage," the Pope Tweeted in September. "Let us over come the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need."