Pope Francis FALLS OVER during Mass in front of an audience

Pope Francis missed a step and fell to the ground on Thursday as he was coming to an open-air altar to celebrate Mass at Poland's holiest shrine of Jasna Gora, reports Daily Mail.

The 79-year-old Pontiff, walking in his long robe with an incense holder in his hand, did not notice a step down from the platform and fell to the ground before the altar. He braced his fall with his left hand and priests around him rushed to help.

Asked if Francis had suffered any ill effects from the fall, a Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, said 'the pope is fine.'

Czestochowa Archbishop Waclaw Depo said Francis fell because he had closed his eyes and appeared to miss a step.

'He is in good condition. He did not even complain at all. He never said a word,' Depo said. 'Also the homily showed that the pope has strength and this strength he gets from the people.'

Francis enjoys relatively good health, despite putting in long days of ceremonies, audiences and meetings. In his youth, he had a section of one lung removed.

A few times in the past, Francis has missed a step or even fallen on stairs. Each time he has got up on his own or thanks to an aide lending a hand, then carried on without missing a beat for the rest of the long ceremonies. 

The Pope was at the monastery, home to an ancient Catholic icon believed to work miracles, ahead of a trip by tram to meet young pilgrims from around the world.

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