Oreste Tornani, Man With Disfigured Face, Recounts Pope Francis' Warmth

12/12/2013 11:42 am ET | Updated Dec 30, 2013

Oreste Tornani, a man with a disfigured face, told Catholic News Agency that he "felt very close" to the Pope when they met briefly on Nov. 20 in a moment that has been immortalized with a heartwarming photo.

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Tornani sustained his injury 30 years ago, when he was hit in the face with a Beretta rifle by the brothers of a woman he was in love with, reports Zuma Press.

oreste tornani

"The Pope speaks very simply, cordially and with a warm voice, and it's nice to hear him," Tornani said to CNA. “When I met him, he asked me how I was, how things were going, if I had any problems, and where I was living.”

Pope Francis kissed him and gave him a blessing before they parted, gesturing towards heaven.

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Tornani is now 60 years old. He was working as a mechanic in a manufacturing plant when the injury happened, though he is currently unemployed and lives off assistance from the Maria Cristina Ogier Association, a Catholic center in Florence.

Merciful acts like this are just one of the many reasons that Pope Francis was named Time Magazine's "Person of The Year." Pope Francis exudes warmth and humanity despite his high position.

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