ROME (Reuters) - The Pope’s white robes scared a young boy who mistook him for a doctor when he visited a children’s hospital on Friday.
The child began crying when 78-year-old Pope Benedict approached his bed in the cardiology ward of the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) hospital near the Vatican.
“It’s the white,” a nurse explained to the Pope. “He can’t take anymore of these white coats.”
The Pope stopped to comfort dozens of children during the two-hour visit.
One little girl, Fabiola, wrote a note and drawing for his visit saying: “Pray for me so that I don’t have to have any more transfusions and so I can go back to the playground with my friend Simone.”
The Bambino Gesu, now one of Europe’s most technologically advanced, was opened in 1869 with just 12 beds as Italy’s first children’s hospital. It was donated to the Vatican in 1924.
It was Benedict’s first official visit to a hospital since his election in April. He visited his older brother Georg in Rome’s Gemelli hospital last August.