Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to earthquake survivors in Italy

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Pope Francis visits Earthquake survivors in Italy
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Pope Francis visits Earthquake survivors in Italy
Pope Francis is seen in Amatrice, Italy, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Emiliano Grillotti FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Pope Francis is seen in Amatrice, Italy, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Emiliano Grillotti FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Pope Francis prays in front of damaged houses during his visit in Accumoli on October 4, 2016, after an earthquake hit the area on August 24, a disaster that claimed nearly 300 lives. Pope Francis made an emotionally charged visit to the Italian mountain communities devastated by an August 24 earthquake, praying silently amid the ruins and urging survivors to have faith in the future. The government has estimated the cost of the damage done to the area hit by the quake at four billion euros ($4.5 billion) and has vowed to rebuild the worst-affected communities where they were, having ruled out any relocations. / AFP / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis shakes hands with Reconstruction commissioner Vasco Errani (L) as he arrives in Accumoli on October 4, 2016, after an earthquake hit the area on August 24, a disaster that claimed nearly 300 lives. Pope Francis made an emotionally charged visit to the Italian mountain communities devastated by an August 24 earthquake, praying silently amid the ruins and urging survivors to have faith in the future. The government has estimated the cost of the damage done to the area hit by the quake at four billion euros ($4.5 billion) and has vowed to rebuild the worst-affected communities where they were, having ruled out any relocations. / AFP / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
A man kisses the hand of Pope Francis (L) during his visit in Accumoli on October 4, 2016. Pope Francis made an emotionally charged visit to the Italian mountain communities devastated by an August 24 earthquake, praying silently amid the ruins and urging survivors to have faith in the future. The government has estimated the cost of the damage done to the area hit by the quake at four billion euros ($4.5 billion) and has vowed to rebuild the worst-affected communities where they were, having ruled out any relocations. / AFP / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (L) embraces a boy during his visit in Accumoli on October 4, 2016, after an earthquake hit the area on August 24, a disaster that claimed nearly 300 lives. Pope Francis made an emotionally charged visit to the Italian mountain communities devastated by an August 24 earthquake, praying silently amid the ruins and urging survivors to have faith in the future. The government has estimated the cost of the damage done to the area hit by the quake at four billion euros ($4.5 billion) and has vowed to rebuild the worst-affected communities where they were, having ruled out any relocations. / AFP / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis smiles as he shakes hand with a priest during is visit in Accumoli on October 4, 2016. Pope Francis traveled to the earthquake-hit area Tuesday to meet with the victims of the August 24 quake that rattled central Italy. / AFP / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to one of the central Italian towns destroyed by a devastating earthquake in August.

The Vatican first announced the pope's visit to Amatrice soon after he arrived because he wanted to keep the trip private.

Vatican Radio quotes him as telling the town's residents, "I thought long and hard in the first days of these many pains that my visit, perhaps, would be more of a hindrance than a help. ... I didn't want to be a bother."

Photos released by the Vatican show the pope comforting survivors, speaking with first responders and praying silently among the rubble.

SEE MORE: Devastating Earthquake Brings Up Legal Questions In Italy

Pope Francis' surprise trip comes just two days after he told journalists on a flight back to Rome that he wanted to see Italy's survivors "as a priest, as a bishop, as the pope. But alone."

After spending time in Amatrice, he visited two other towns hit hard by the quake. Nearly 300 people were killed in the disaster.

See more of the Pope's visit below:

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