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The Boston Globe


Pope visits Assisi on namesake’s day

ASSISI, Italy — It was clear from the moment that Pope Francis began his first visit to the town of Assisi that he would use personal, intimate gestures to send a strong message to the world at large.

Shortly after dawn Friday, at the Serafico Institute, a religious charitable institution in Assisi, Italy, that treats seriously disabled children, the pope stopped to greet every child in the institute’s chapel — there were more than 100 in all — kissing some, bending an ear to a whispered greeting, making the sign of the cross on the foreheads of those unable to speak.

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