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Woman who yanked pope’s arm gets a chance to shake his hand

Pope Francis Chinese woman

An interpreter seems to have enabled them to exchange a few words as the two smile at each other

On January 8 at the general audience in Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis had the opportunity to speak with the woman who yanked his arm on New Year’s Eve, resulting in him slapping her hand away.

The situation occurred after Evening Prayer of New Year’s Eve, when he was greeting people in St. Peter’s Square. The video clip quickly flooded the internet, showing his look of pain as he regained his balance. He swatted her hand off his arm, as a security guard took hold of her arm and pressed her back behind the guard rail.

At the midday Angelus of New Year’s Day, the Holy Father presumably referred to the incident, speaking about how “love makes us patient,” and adding, “Many times we lose patience; me too, and I apologize for yesterday’s bad example.”

The January 8 meeting came during the moments when the pope greets audience-goers, usually with a hand shake (sometimes the faithful kiss the ring he wears as the Successor of Peter), and possibly a few words.

It seems that both the woman and the pope were able to make peace, with the help of a priest who seems to be acting as an interpreter near by.

The two shake hands and smile at each other — in a much friendlier interchange than that of the week before.

See the video clip of the New Year’s Eve event in the article linked below:

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