Pope Francis twice jumped into the crowd gathered for Palm Sunday mass and celebration in St. Peter’s Square to pose for pictures.
After breaking form during the mass and dropping his prepared homily to speak entirely off-the-cuff — “a remarkable departure from practice,” according to the Associated Press — Pope Francis jumped down from the popemobile to pose with youth from Rio de Janeiro, and later, to heed the calls from Polish youths clamoring for their own selfies.
They were far from his first — a selfie with Pope Francis with youth inside St. Peter’s Basilica last August garnered so much attention it broke the Internet, according to the Associated Press.
— Fabio M. Ragona (@FabioMRagona) August 29, 2013
He showed up in another at a wedding earlier this year.
— Edward Pentin (@edwardpentin) March 19, 2014
Following the formal mass Pope Francis shed his ceremonial red vestments and stuck around to chat amiably with formally dressed cardinals before embracing the crowd of around 100,000 Romans gathered to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week.
During his improvised homily, Pope Francis called on everyone, including himself, to examine their hearts and lives.
“Has my life fallen asleep?” Pope Francis asked, recounting the mass’ Gospel reading of Jesus’ disciples falling asleep shortly before he was betrayed by Judas and captured. “Am I like Pontius Pilate, who, when he sees the situation is difficult, washes my hands?”
Many gathered for the mass on Sunday will stay throughout Holy Week, with many expected to stay or return the Sunday after for the canonization of two former popes on April 27 — John Paul II and John XXIII.