Pope Benedict XVI was caught by surprise Thursday night when a woman knocked him over at Christmas Eve mass.
The culprit jumped a barrier and pushed the Pope to the ground as he was walking down the aisle of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Security officials rushed to his aid, but he appeared unhurt and continued with the service.
Celebrations began at 10pm, two hours earlier than the usual midnight. The change was made to spare the 82-year-old pontiff ahead of a busy holiday schedule.
The masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are scheduled to be televised in an estimated 73 countries.