A young boy stole the show at the Vatican on Wednesday when he ran onstage during Pope Francis‘ general audience. In a video that’s now going viral online, six-year-old Wenzel Wirth climbs up and plays at the Pope’s feet, while the Catholic priest chuckles good-naturedly.
Even when the Argentinean boy’s mother comes up to retrieve her son, the Pope shoos her away, saying “Let him be, let him be.” She then explains to him that the young boy is speech-impaired and cannot talk. In light of this, the Pope addresses the crowd, explaining, “He’s free. Undisciplined-ly free, but he’s free. It made me think, ‘Am I so free before God?'”
He goes on to say, “When Jesus says we have to be like children, it means we need to have the freedom that a child has before his father. I think this child preaches to all of us. And let us ask for the grace of speech (for him).”
It’s not the first time Pope Francis has shown his calm and composed nature—and his devotion to making Catholicism a more loving and accepting community. Back in August, for instance, he declared the death penalty unacceptable, removing it from Catholic doctrine in a decision fueled by compassion and a desire to reshape the church’s vision moving forward.
And his latest display of acceptance, evidenced in the recent video, was much appreciated, particularly by Wenzel’s parents. As dad Ariel Wirth said, “We try to let [Wenzel] be free. He has to express himself, and we live without hiding his problems.”