Pope Francis, who is usually calm and accommodating with his admirers, lost his temper with a person who pulled on him so hard that he fell onto a child in a wheelchair.
Video footage showed that while the pope was walking at the edge of a crowd in a stadium in Morelia, north-west of Mexico City, he stopped to greet children, including the young girl with a disability.
Two arms reached out to grab him and the person would not let go, even after the pope lost his balance and his chest was pressing on the girl’s head.
Aides and security men stopped the pope from falling.
He appeared to check on the welfare of the girl and kissed her head before standing up, his face turning angry.
He looked at the person, raised his voice and said something twice in Spanish, the Argentine-born pontiff’s native language as well as the main language in Mexico.
Loud music drowns out what he says in the video, but media outlets report that he said either “Eso no se hace!” (“You don’t do that!”) or “No seas egoista” (“Don’t be selfish.”)
It was not clear if the person who pulled the pope was a man or a woman.
Pope Francis is in the world’s second most populous Catholic country for a five-day trip during which he has visited some of Mexico’s most troubled regions and urged Mexicans to reject corruption and provide “true justice”.
Morelia is the capital of Michoacan, a state which has seen some of the most gruesome episodes of Mexico’s drug war have occurred, including farmers taking up arms to fight the infamous Knights Templar drug cartel in 2013.
The stadium was packed for a mass, after which the pope took notes as young people told him about violence and lack of job opportunities.
He then urged the crowd to reject a life of crime, telling them they are not just the hope but “the wealth of this land” and earning cheers when he told them to “dare to dream”.