Pope Francis Pets a Tiger at a Vatican Jubilee for Traveling Performers

The bishop of Rome greets a big cat with traveling performers.

ByCATHERINE THORBECKE
June 16, 2016, 1:42 PM

— -- Pope Francis pet a tiger at a jubilee for circus and travelling show people in the Vatican today.

At the jubilee, the pope greeted circus workers, clowns, musicians and many other performers, as well as a tiger and a black panther cub.

Francis thanked the traveling performers for how they open their shows "to the most needy, the poor and the homeless, prisoners and disadvantaged kids," Vatican Radio reported.

"This too is mercy — to sow beauty and joy in a world sometimes gloomy and sad,” he added.

PHOTO: Pope Francis pets a panther cub during his audience to the "World of Traveling Shows" at Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, June 16, 2016.
Pope Francis pets a panther cub during his audience to the "World of Traveling Shows" at Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, June 16, 2016.
Fabio Frustaci/AP Photo

He called on churches and parishes to be more attentive to the needs of traveling performers, Vatican Radio reported.

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