One by one, pope hugs over 100 patients suffering from rare disease: Huntington's Syndrome
Pope Francis literally embraced all of these sick people who filled the Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City.
They have Huntington's Syndrome, a degenerative disease that usually begins to show its symptoms between 30 and 50 years of age.
Those who suffer from it are often marginalized, or even abandoned by their relatives who are unable to take care of them. Pope Francis greeted both the sick and their relatives, who sacrifice 24 hours a day to care of them.
Some asked him to bless photos of other loved ones, while others tearfully embraced him, unleashing the applause of the people.
There were selfies, blessings, and greetings of all kinds.
This was the message that Pope Francis gave. Sweetness, closeness; more than words, but gestures. He encouraged the sick and their families not to be discouraged, and and to never become overcome by loneliness and suffering.
"Fragility is not an ill. May none of you ever feel you are alone; may none of you feel you are a burden; do not to give in to the temptation of the sense of shame or guilt.â?
He also called for more research in order to find solutions to diseases like this, and criticized the destruction of human embryos.
"We know that no ends, even noble in themselves, such as a predicted utility for science, for other human beings or for society, can justify the destruction of human embryos.â?
At the moment, 7,000 rare diseases have been discovered, which affects 7% of the world's population.