There are moments in life that burn brightly in your memory, no matter how much subsequent time has passed. For example, I can clearly recall going to visit my brother in the hospital when he was born. I can also vividly remember undergoing an operation when I was six-years-old – some thirty years ago.
While I doubt I’ll ever forget either of those two things, though, they pale in contrast to story the Masciantonio family have to tell, from when their daughter Gianna met Pope Francis in Philadelphia.
The family was given a call from a friend who worked in the FBI, Donny Asper. He happened to be helping with the Pope’s security that day and instructed them to head downtown with haste if they wanted a shot at meeting him. The family were quick to follow the instructions.
Donny was keen for the daughter of his friends, Joey and Kristen, to meet the pope. The parents are both devout Catholics, and little Gianna had been diagnosed with both an extremely rare blood disorder and a tumour.
They were praying she might receive Pope Francis’ blessings in downtown Philadelphia. Though that’s exactly what it was … a prayer. There were swarms of people in the area all aiming for the same thing, and the family were hesitant to even leave their home in the first place, fearing Gianna’s condition might worsen in a bustling crowd.
Eventually, they decided to throw caution to the wind and make the journey. Looking back on it, they must be thanking their lucky stars that they did …
The family headed to an area where the pope was expected to pass through. Once Joey saw Pope Francis making his way toward their location, he held baby Gianna up high to attract the attention of the security guards. One of them spotted the girl and took her to the pope.
There, amongst thousands of onlookers, Pope Francis kissed the child upon her head, thereby blessing the girl.
Once the day was over, things quickly went back to normality. Visits to the doctor were frequent and the family tried to stay positive in the face of adversity.
But then, a mere six weeks after Gianna’s encounter with the pope, Joey and Kristen were handed a break that bordered on a miracle. Scans showed her tumour had shrunk significantly, allowing Gianna to begin a steady recovery.
Did the pope’s kiss have a healing effect? We’ll never know for definite, but the family are certain of their own belief. “The kiss was God’s work, that’s for sure,” they say.
Watch the video below for more:
Do you believe God used the pope as a conduit to bestow a miracle upon baby Gianna? The family certainly do!
In any case, it’s great that the girl’s tumour has shrunk so significantly, and we wish her all the best moving forward. Share this if you believe in miracles!