You might have seen a boy with cerebral palsy kissed and blessed by Pope Francis during his recent tour to America, but you may not know the full story. Here’s what we missed.
Michael is 10 years old. He was born too early and a birth related injury caused the cerebral palsy. His parents still wanted to adopt him and his twin brother anyway.
He requires hands-on care and constant attention from his feeding tube to his catheter.
He almost didn’t get to see the pope’s arrival. It’s difficult to transport Michael with a broken lift on the family’s wheelchair-accessible van, the risk of his body overheating and he must be catheterized every four hours.
But the family’s priest encouraged the Philadelphian congregation not to leave town like so many to avoid traffic caused by the pope’s visit, but to stay and welcome the pope.
So the family stayed in town and they brought Michael with them.
Pope Francis landed in Philadelphia and was welcomed by crowds and a band playing the Rocky theme song. As the pope’s black Fiat began to drive away, the pope spotted Michael and asked the driver to stop.
Michael’s sister quickly realized what was happening and crying, she pulled out her phone to capture the moment for her brother.
Their dad, looked away choked with tears and emotion, but turned back to shake Pope Francis’s hand. Their mom grasped Francis’ hands and although she didn’t understand his foreign words, she understood the blessing with her heart.