The woman grabbed Francis’s right hand and pulled him toward her. The startled pope then smacked the woman’s hand as a way to break free, a reaction he apologized for on Wednesday.
Video showed Francis with a disgusted look as he walked away.
In his address to pilgrims a day after the incident, Francis diverted from his scripted remarks upon the mention of patience.
“So many times we lose our patience; me too, and I apologize for yesterday’s bad example,” Francis said.