Getting to meet the pope in person isn’t something most of us will get to do, but even more rare? Stealing the hat off his head!
During the weekly papal audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis went about his normal routine — offering a greeting, prayer, and individual blessings to the locals and visitors congregated outside of St. Peter’s Square.
But this Wednesday, things took an amusing turn when Pope Francis met 3-year-old Estella Westrick.
While leaning in for a kiss from the pope, she reached up and snatched his hat (officially called a zucchetto)! Estella’s godfather Mountain Butorac shared a video of the whole occurrence, which has received over 28K likes and 12K retweets.
While it’s safe to say this is not typical behavior when coming in contact with the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis had a sweet reaction – even breaking out in laughter!
Butorac, a Catholic travel blogger, explains to TODAY that he led Estella and her family, who are visiting from Atlanta, to the Vatican early this morning so they could get a good spot near the front. As the pope came down to greet the crowd and offer blessings, a security guard asked if he could take Estella to meet Pope Francis, to which they, of course, agreed.
“You can see that as they brought her, she was kind of staring at the hat,” Butorac tells TODAY. “So as the pope was going in to kiss her, she was already eyeballing it and her hand was starting to move up. It was like she went in with a plan.”
When relaying the story to her mom Alexis Westrick, who was home with her younger son, Estella apparently had a lot of enthusiasm about the incident. “She told me, ‘I met the pope, and he gave me a rosary — and I took his hat!’ She was so excited about it,” Westrick describes.
And can you blame her? That’s a pretty fun way to meet the pope. Hats off to you, girl!