Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 12.54.16 PMIt seems that if anything can be learned from the Holy Father’s visit to Cuba and the United States, it’s that he is a man of gestures and encounters.

He exchanged zucchettos with a young Cuban man in Holguin. He made an impromptu visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor while in Washington, D.C. He also embraced a little girl who broke through the barricade. He paused to hug a little girl in a wheelchair before praying Vespers in New York. He embraced a young man with cerebral palsy at the Festival of Families in Philly. He visited with survivors of sexual abuse. He spent time with school children in Harlem. He shared a tender moment with a mother whose child he kissed along his way in front of Independence Hall. The list could go on and on.
But the “little gesture” I loved seeing most from him was his smile.

Can we just agree that the man has a wonderful smile?

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Even if he didn’t have a moment to stop or share an embrace, he always seemed to be able to spare a smile.

Come to think of it, the only time the Holy Father wasn’t smiling, it seemed, was when he was posing for formal pictures or deep in prayer.

So let’s have a look at some of the best grins from the papal visit, shall we?

Here’s what I like to call his “I feel totally in my element in a huge crowd” smile.

Pope Francis greeting the crowds outside the Basilica and Catholic University of America. Credit Addie Mena.

Pope Francis greets the crowds outside the Basilica and Catholic University of America.

And here we see the tender, “You are such a precious child of God” smile.

Pope Francis greets the Little Sisters of the Poor while in DC.

Pope Francis greets the Little Sisters of the Poor while in DC.

Here’s the, “I’m so glad that YOU are here with ME”.

Pope Francis greets the crowd at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia. © L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis greets the crowd at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia. © L’Osservatore Romano

The “I’m a pro at selfies now”. (credit)
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And my personal favorite, the “Thanks for saying such nice things about me and inviting me to your beautiful city, Cardinal Dolan”.

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