A 17-year-old was blessed by Pope Francis in a touching moment at St. Patrick’s Cathedral during his big trip to New York Thursday evening.
Stephanie Gabaud was thrilled about meeting the Pope after also seeing Pope Benedict XVI during his NYC visit in 2008. The White Plains native suffers from spina bifida, a birth defect that doesn’t allow a child’s spinal cord to develop properly. Gabaud underwent four surgeries recently and was worried she wouldn’t be healthy enough to meet the Pontiff.
But her moment came shortly after 7 p.m. on Thursday, when Pope Francis entered St. Patrick’s Cathedral and blessed her.
Pix 11 reports:
As Pope Francis began his procession down the aisle at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he stopped to hug Gabaud and kiss her on the forehead.
“He said something in Spanish that I couldn’t understand at first,” an excited Gabaud told PIX 11 News. “I wished him blessings, and then he gave me a hug. Oh my God, it was just so amazing.”
The Pope also blessed a seventh grader in a wheelchair when he arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport earlier that day. Julia Buzzese, 12, says the blessing reassured her she will be able to walk again, NBC Philadelphia writes. The St. Bernadette School student lost feeling in her legs in May. Doctors have not yet diagnosed her.
At the newly renovated St. Patrick’s Cathedral, over 2,000 people were in attendance, including 1,000 priests. Pope Francis opened his service by paying respects to the 800 people killed in a deadly stampede near the holy city of Mecca during the annual Hajj. He also praised the priests and nuns of New York.
Since arriving in the Big Apple, the Pope has visited the United Nations, the 9/11 Memorial, and Central Park.
Pope Francis Visits America
1. Pope Francis Arrives And Greets President Obama and the First FamilySource:Getty Images 1 of 22
2. Pope Francis Greets Well Wishers At AirportSource:Getty Image 2 of 22
3. Pope Francis Greets Vice President Biden and FamilySource:Getty Images 3 of 22
4. Pope Francis and President Obama Share LaughsSource:Getty Images 4 of 22
5. Pope Francis Walks With President Obama To MeetingSource:Getty Images 5 of 22
6. Pope Francis Meets Sunny and BoSource:White House 6 of 22
7. President Obama and Pope Francis Chat and Take PhotoSource:Getty Images 7 of 22
8. Pope Francis Addresses U.S. RepresentativesSource:Getty Images 8 of 22
9. Pope Francis Stands on Balcony At Capitol HillSource:Getty Images 9 of 22
10. Pope Francis Spoke To United NationsSource:Getty Images 10 of 22
11. Pope Francis Prays At Ground ZeroSource:Getty Images 11 of 22
12. Pope Francis Participates In Intefaith ServiceSource:Getty Images 12 of 22
13. Pope Francis at St. Patrick's CathedralSource:Getty 13 of 22
14. Pope Francis At Independence HallSource:Getty Images 14 of 22
15. Pope Francis Blesses Baby From Pope MobileSource:Getty Images 15 of 22
16. Mark Walberg Hosts Evening With FamiliesSource:Getty Images 16 of 22
17. Pope Francis Is Entertained By Aretha FranklinSource:Getty Images 17 of 22
18. Pope Francis Talks With Prisoners In PhiladelphiaSource:Getty Images 18 of 22
19. Pope Francis Talks To Bishops CandidlySource:Getty Images 19 of 22
20. Pope Francis Delivers Gift From Cuba To AmericaSource:Getty Images 20 of 22
21. Pope Francis With Philadelphia's SeminariansSource:Getty 21 of 22
22. Pope Francis Final MassSource:Getty Images 22 of 22
Pope Blesses Black Teen With Spina Bifida In Touching Moment During NYC Tour was originally published on newsone.com