CARTAGENA, Colombia—Pope Francis suffered a minor accident upon his arrival to Cartagena, the very last stop of his Sept. 6-11 visit to Colombia, but wasn’t deterred and kept on chugging through the day.
As he was riding the Popemobile trying to reach out to one of the tens of thousands waiting for him along the streets, the car moved abruptly, causing the pope to stumble. He hit the left side of his head against the metal bar that holds the glass roof of the vehicle, striking him in the face.
The blow was strong enough to draw blood, but Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, traveling with the pontiff, told journalists that he’s just fine.
Soon after the injury, which was televised live, Francis received a white handkerchief from one of the members of his security escort. The head of the security team, Italian layman Domenico Gianni, cleaned his eyebrow, signaling that’s where the blood, which stained his white cassock, originated.
Eventually, the motorcade stopped for the pope to receive treatment while he was making a stop at the home of a 77-year-old women who cooks and distributes meals to the homeless named Lorenza Pérez. When he got back in the car, he was sporting a Band-Aid on his eyebrow and a bruise was already visible on his cheekbone.
The accident happened as Francis was riding along the streets of Cartagena, on his way to a shelter for the homeless run by Talitha Kum, an international network of religious sisters who fight against human trafficking.
The pontiff has a packed day today. He’ll bless the first stone for a shelter for homeless people, deliver his traditional Angelus address, venerate the relics of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest known as the “slave of the slaves,” and then lead an open-air Mass in the port region.