Kiss of compassion as Pope embraces man with rare disease

POPE Francis has again displayed his compassion for others as he comforted a man suffering from a rare disease that has left him with neuronal tumours all over his body.

Following his general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis kissed and blessed the man, whose face was covered in tumours, as he closed his eyes in prayer.

The Catholic News Agency the man was suffering from neurofibromatosis, an illness that can lead to impaired vision, learning impairment and can be extremely painful.

People with this disease - which is genetic and not contagious - often face discrimination because of their appearance.

Pope Francis paused for several minutes to receive the sick man in his arms, before  taking the ma's face in his hands, kissing him, and giving him a blessing.