Pope Francis stops motorcade to kiss head of disabled boy

September 27, 2015 2:29 am


Francis kisses and blesses Michael Keating. Photo / AP

kissed the forehead of a boy with cerebral palsy after
landing in Philadelphia, coaxing a small smile from the severely
disabled 10-year-old.
Francis apparently spied Michael Keating as
he was being driven away from the plane. Ordering the Fiat to stop,
Francis got out and walked over to the boy, put his hand on his head and
kissed him as his sobbing mother looked on.
Kristin Keating
thanked the pope, who grasped her hand. Francis also shook the hand of
Keating’s husband, Chuck Keating, the band director at Bishop Shanahan
High School in Downingtown. The band serenaded Francis as he arrived in
Philadelphia for the last leg of his six-day visit to the .
was an unbelievable feeling,” Kristin Keating said of the papal
encounter, adding she felt “totally blessed and loved” by the pope.
son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 6 months old. He also has a
profound intellectual disability as well as vision and hearing problems
and cannot do anything for himself, communicating through various moans
and cries.

Michael, who got up 2:15 a.m. for the trip to Philadelphia,
had been agitated off and on throughout the morning, but he seemed to
calm in the pope’s presence.
“When the pope took his hand off
him, he had a bit of a smile on his face. To me, in that moment, he must
have felt that blessing,” said Kristin Keating, a fourth-grade teacher
from Elverson.
“For us, it was beautiful,” she added. “For us, it meant something.”
Francis later blessed several disabled children at a Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

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