Pope Francis missed a step and fell to the ground as he was coming to an open-air altar to celebrate Mass at Poland's holiest shrine of Jasna Gora.

In a dramatic moment Thursday, the 79-year-old Francis, walking deep in thought in his long robe, did not notice a step down and fell to the ground before the altar. Priests around him rushed to help him up and straightened his robe.

The Mass proceeded as planned and the pope delivered a long sermon before tens of thousands of faithful gathered at the foot of the Jasna Gora monastery in the southern city of Czestochowa.