Francis has arrived in Baghdad on Friday for his first trip outside Italy in 15 months. On the plane, he accepted the Maria Grazia Cutuli award for his role as "special envoy" in the name of faith, brotherhood and peace.
Cutuli (+2001) was a writer for the Italian oligarch newspaper Corriere.it. She was killed with three other oligarch journalists while covering the US military invasion in Afghanistan.
Francis moves in Iraq under tight police escort and in a closed car. Nevertheless, hundreds greeted him on a road close to the airport.
In Bagdad, he was welcomed like a king with oriental dances (Video below). A limping Francis enjoyed the performance visibly.