Pope gets shoe shine on Cuba-bound plane

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Pope Francis Departs for Cuba

ONBOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) -- A wealthy Mexican-American broadcaster, who shined shoes as a boy to help his single mother, gave Pope Francis's shoes a quick polish on the papal plane on Friday as a tribute to people struggling to feed their families.

Noel Diaz, 59, told the pope of his rags-to-riches story when the pontiff came to the back section of the plane to greet journalists as it was flying to Cuba.

See more of Pope Francis' trip:

21 PHOTOS
Pope to meet with Mexico's violent
See Gallery
Pope gets shoe shine on Cuba-bound plane
In this Jan. 25, 2016 photo, the school ID card of Mariana Yanez sits on a Bible, along with other religious items, at her parents home in Ecatepec, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. One evening in September 2014, Mariana left her home in this crime-plagued Mexico City suburb saying she was going to make some photocopies. Then she vanished. Months later, authorities called her mother to say she was dead. Pope Francis will visit Ecatepec and hold a Mass there during his visit on Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Feb. 5, 2016 photo, men carry their bicycles as they cross a pedestrian bridge in the Mexico state neighborhood of Ecatepec, on the outskirts of Mexico City. On the eve of his trip to Mexico, Pope Francis said he would pray with Mexicans who suffered from organized crime violence. âBecause the Mexico of violence, of corruption, of drug-trafficking and cartels is not the Mexico that our mother (the Madonna) wants,â he said. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Jan. 25, 2016 photo, young people play soccer in a public park in the Mexico state neighborhood of Ecatepec, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pope Francis has already denounced corruption, violence and drug-trafficking in Mexico ahead of his visit this week, and he is expected to address those same themes when he delivers his homily in Ecatepec on Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Feb. 5, 2016 photo, a woman walks her daughter back home from school near the sewage-choked canal called Los Remedios River in Ecatepec, a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pope Francis is to hold the largest public event of his visit to Mexico when he celebrates Mass on an outdoor esplanade here on Feb. 14, just miles from the canal. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Jan. 19, 2015 photo, police officers prepare for an security operation in Ecatepec, a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pope Francis will hold the largest public event of his visit to Mexico when he celebrates Mass on an outdoor esplanade in Ecatepec on Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
This Jan. 19, 2015 photo, shows a view of the house choked hills in Ecatepec, a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pope Francis will hold a mass in Ecatepec on Feb. 14, 2016, a sprawling suburb of 1.6 million people. At least 1,554 women have disappeared in Mexico state since 2005, according to the National Observatory on Femicide, and last year the government issued an alert over the killings of women in Ecatepec and 10 other parts of Mexico state. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
In this Jan. 26, 2016 photo, protestors carry an empty coffin with the image of Julio Cesar Mondragon, who was killed in September 2014 on the same night 43 of his fellow students from a rural teachers college disappeared in the southern state of Guerrero, during a march in Mexico City, marking the 16-month anniversary of disappearance. On the eve of the visit by Pope Francis, homicides rose 9 percent in Mexico during 2015, according to government statistics. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
In this Feb. 5, 2016 photo, people cross the sewage-choked canal called Los Remedios River using a pedestrian bridge in Ecatepec, a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pope Francis is to hold the largest public event of his visit to Mexico when he celebrates Mass on an outdoor esplanade here on Feb. 14 just miles from the canal. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Jan. 25, 2016 photo, a child runs in a park located in Ecatepec, a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. Itâs the most heavily populated municipality in the country and part of Mexico state, where President Enrique Pena Nieto was governor from 2005 to 2011 before leaving office to run for president. Pope Francis will hold the largest public event of his visit to Mexico when he celebrates Mass in Ecatepec on Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Jan. 25, 2016 photo, Guadalupe Reyes holds back her tears as she talks about her daughter Mariana Yanez, in Ecatepec, a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. On an otherwise normal evening in September 2014, Yanez left her home saying she was going to make some photocopies, and then vanished. Months later, authorities called her mother to say she was dead. Pope Francis will will hold the largest public event of his visit to Mexico in this neighborhood when he celebrates Mass on Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
In this Jan. 19, 2015 photo, two women chat in Ecatepec, a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pope Francis will hold a mass in Ecatepec on Feb. 14, 2016, a sprawling suburb of 1.6 million people. Ecatepec is the most heavily populated municipality in the country and part of Mexico state. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
In this Jan. 25, 2016 photo, a young boy hangs out a park located in the Mexico state neighborhood of Ecatepec, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pope Francis will hold the largest public event of his visit to Mexico in Ecatepec on Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
Posters with pictures of missing girls are next to a picture of Pope Francis in a street of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 3, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for her daughters, victims of the wave of violence that hit the border City of Ciudad Juarez wait for Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A black cross on pink background was painted on a light post in memory of missing girls in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 3, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for her daughters, victims of the wave of violence that hit the border City of Ciudad Juarez wait for Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Luz del Carmen Flores (L) and Perla Reyes (R) cross a street next to a public lighting post where black crosses on pink background were painted in memory of missing girls in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 3, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for her daughters, victims of the wave of violence that hit the border City of Ciudad Juarez wait for Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Luz del Carmen Flores, mother of disappeared Luz Angelica Mena Flores, observes the memorial wall of missing girls, one of them her daughter, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 3, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for her daughters, victims of the wave of violence that hit the border City of Ciudad Juarez wait for Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Perla Reyes remains by a mural with the image of her missing daughter, Joselyn Calderon Reyes, while speaking during an inteview in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 2, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for their daughters. victims of the wave of violence that hit the border city of Ciudad Juarez, wait for the arrival of Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Posters with images of missing girls are on a post in a street of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 2, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for her daughters, victims of the wave of violence that hit the border City of Ciudad Juarez wait for Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Susana Montes shows a paper with the picture of her missing daughter, Maria Guadalupe Perez Montes (17), while speaking during an inteview in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 2, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for their daughters. victims of the wave of violence that hit the border city of Ciudad Juarez, wait for the arrival of Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Luz del Carmen Flores, mother of disappeared Luz Angelica Mena Flores, observes the memorial wall of missing girls, one of them her daughter, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on February 3, 2016. Hundreds of mothers who look for her daughters, victims of the wave of violence that hit the border City of Ciudad Juarez wait for Pope Francis and demand to meet with him. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ / AFP / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

He told the pope he had shined shoes as a small boy in the Mexican border city of Tijuana to save money to buy a new shirt and trousers for his first communion, when he and his mother lived in extreme poverty.

"I was only seven years old. My mother told me we couldn't afford the clothes. I shined shoes for the next five days to make the money," he told the pope.

"I asked the pope: 'Can I shine your shoes in honor of all those people out there who really work hard every day to put bread on the table?'" Diaz later told reporters.

Read Full Story

People are Reading