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The kissing Pope


Starting with the first appearance of Pope Francis at the balcony of the Vatican his popularity has grown more and more. One of the most appreciated features is his irresistible impulse driving him to kiss  children and – among the smallest ones –  he appears to have a special penchant for the sick children, just like Mike.

10-year-old Michael Keating was sitting in his wheelchair at Philadelphia airport to watch the Pope go by in his Fiat 500. He didn’t know exactly what was happening because his cerebral palsy prevents him to process information. But his parents could do it, and they couldn’t believe it: the Pope had passed very close to them and had seen their son. He had then ordered the car to stop, opened the door and approached them. “What a pity that I was unable to speak Spanish at that moment!”, the mother must have thought, when the Pope had tried to speak with her. But it was not important, what really mattered was the gesture, the caress, the kiss and the look. Words are not necessary at times:  hearts are talking.

And the heart of the Pope cannot prevent it, it is going beyond his own strength. Christ is in the children and  the sick and the Pope loves Christ. He fell in love with Christ when he was young and left everything for him.

Both Michael’s parents and his brothers will remember this meeting for the rest of their lives.

It will be the same for Sophie Cruz, because from the day she met the Pope she  no longer had nightmares. Before that, she couldn’t sleep well at night, she was afraid that the police would come and take her parents away. As  immigrants in the United Sates they run the risk and Sophie’s parents work hard  to pay  her school. Then she came up with something – she is only 5 years old but doesn’t lack initiative: she will write a letter and deliver it to the Pope! With the help of her parents she wrote a well-structured letter, expressing her feelings to His Holiness. And the big day arrived. The secret services had put up insurmountable barriers and taken many security measures.

“Will, is power” so they say it in English. Sophie was not deterred by barriers or security. With the help of her father she found her way through the crowd. She started running, and, quite extraordinary, a 5-years-old girl cannot possibly get the better against 5 secret service agents. Then the Pope saw her: “Let the children come to me”, and he made a gesture. The little girl seized the opportunity and the Italian body guard, the Pope’s shadow, picked her up and took her to the Pope. A kiss, a hug and a letter. That letter contained her deepest desires: “I want to tell you that my heart is sad because of the hatred and the discrimination against the immigrants of this country. I am afraid that they will separate me from my family” and a specific request: “Please speak with President Barack Obama and with the congress people so that they approve the immigration reform, for immigrants”.

Now Sophie knows that thanks to the Pope’s prayers she can stay sure, now she sleeps peacefully

Angela Mengis

RM Spain

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