Pope Francis apologises after slapping over-enthusiastic fan

Pope Francis has apologised for being abrupt the previous day with a pilgrim in St Peter's Square.

"Love makes us patient. So many times we lose patience, even me, and I apologise for yesterday's bad example," the pope said.

A visibly indignant Pope Francis had to pull himself away from a woman in a crowd in St Peter's Square on Tuesday after she grabbed his hand and yanked him towards her.

The Pope wasn't happy with her grabbing.
The Pope wasn't happy with her grabbing. Photo credit: Reuters

Pope Francis was walking through the square in Vatican City and greeting pilgrims on his way to see the large Nativity scene set up in the huge, cobbled esplanade.

After reaching out to touch a child, the pope turned away from the crowd only for a nearby woman to seize his hand and pull her towards him. The abrupt gesture appeared to cause him pain and Francis swiftly wrenched his hand free.