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The boy who would not leave Pope Francis' side

The young boy clings to Pope Francis as he addresses pilgrims at the Vatican Photo:

Pope Francis gained an unexpected attendant at the weekend after a little boy wandered onto the stage as he was addressing thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.

The unidentified boy refused to leave the Pope's side, clinging to his legs while two Cardinals encouraged him to sit back down with sweets.

But Pope Francis appeared not to mind, allowing the youngster to sit on his chair and, at one point, resting a hand affectionately on his head.

The boy waves to the crowd as the Pope delivers his address

He even helped the Pope to greet representatives from more than 80 countries, leading one little girl up to stand next to the pontiff before inspecting her gift.

The boy helps Pope Francis greet a devotee Credit: EBU

The boy's actions seemed oddly appropriate as the Pope celebrated Family Day with hundreds of families of pilgrims from all over the world.