Pope Francis talks with Lidia Maksymowicz, a Holocaust survivor, who was prisoner in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis talks with Lidia Maksymowicz, a Holocaust survivor, who was prisoner in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope kisses Auschwitz survivor’s tattoo

Lidia Maksymowicz, a Polish citizen who was deported to Auschwitz from her native Belarus by the age of 3

Pope Francis has kissed the tattoo of an Auschwitz survivor during a general audience.

Lidia Maksymowicz, a Polish citizen who was deported to Auschwitz from her native Belarus by the age of 3, showed the pope the number tattooed on her arm by the Nazis, and Francis leaned over and kissed it on Wednesday.

Maksymowicz told Vatican News that she didn’t exchange words with the pope.

“We understood each other with a glance,” she said.

Maksymowicz has participated in events sponsored by Sant’Egidio aimed at educating youth about the Holocaust. She spent three years in the children’s area of the camp, and was subjected to experiments by Josef Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death.” When the camp was freed, she was taken in by a Polish family.

The pope has paid tribute to Holocaust survivors in the past, including a 2014 visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel and a visit in February to the Rome apartment of a survivor, 88-year-old Hungarian-born writer and poet Edith Bruck.

The Vatican said that during the hour-long visit, Francis told her: “I came to thank you for your witness and to pay homage to the people martyred by the craziness of Nazi populism.”

“And with sincerity I repeat the words I pronounced from my heart at Yad Vashem, and that I repeat in front of every person who, like you, suffered so much because of this: ‘Forgive, Lord, in the name of humanity,’” the pontiff told Bruck, according to the Vatican’s account of the private meeting.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Pope Francis

Just Posted

The Kus-kus-sum site had been a sawmill on the Courtenay River. File photo
Restoration of Kus-kus-sum area in Courtenay to begin June 21

Restoration at the Kus-kus-sum site will begin June 21. This will be… Continue reading

The Bayview is temporarily closed to deal with the effects of a sprinkler in one room that was tampered with. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bayview Hotel in Courtenay closed for now due to water mess

Hotel clarifies that only one sprinkler was tampered with and activated

A rendering shows a “mini urban bazaar” for very small businesses hub proposed in Cumberland. File image, Cumberland staff report
Urban bazaar proposal in Cumberland takes next step

Council approved permit applications but have some concerns about parking

Craft Brewing and Malting program student Ellie Hadley plans to use her newfound skills and knowledge to set up a distillery in Port Alberni. (PHOTO COURTESY LEE SIMMONS)
Something’s brewing with North Island College’s newest program

Port Alberni grad Ellie Hadley hopes to turn new skills into thriving business

Nurse and educator Carol Tinga was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. The community has raised more than $89,000 to help reduce financial stress so that Tinga and her family and focus on treatment and enjoy their time together. Photo submitted
Valley stepping up to support nurse who cared for many

A fundraiser has raised more than $89,000 for Carol Tinga who was diagnosed with cancer

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Most Read