I’m sorry to say I missed the coverage of World Youth Day in Rio this year. Last week we bustled about getting school started for another academic year (yes, it’s early, but trust me, it’s good) and working to get the Old Haus back on the market since the renters have gone on to a new home in another part of the town closer to their work. I was able to catch snatches of WYD to tide me over until I can once again read snippets of Pope Francis’ homilies with my morning coffee thanks to Vatican Radio. I love his homilies.
And I really REALLY love it when he does something like this:
Pope Francis has personally requested the presence of a sick child when he presides Sunday’s closing mass for World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The little girl, who suffers from anencephaly, a condition which means she was born without a large part of her brain, will be brought up to the altar during the Offertory procession. Most children affected by anencephaly do not survive this condition or are aborted before the pregnancy comes to term.
The little girl’s parents presented her to Pope Francis as he was leaving Rio’s Saint Sebastian Cathedral following Saturday’s mass with religious. The couple said that though they could have legally aborted their sick child, they decided to celebrate her life.
Fr. Lombardi said, “the Pope will welcome this very tiny girl during the Offertory procession of the final Mass for World Youth Day as a sign of welcome and of offering of life to God.”
WOW! I can see why her parents would have wanted him to bless their child–who doesn’t want their baby blessed by the Pope? But after all the stress of the birth and the pressure they must have received to end their child’s life, to have this moment to present her to the Holy Father, and the result?
Pope Francis asked for that girl to be there at the final Mass to show the world that, as his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said:
“Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”
Each of us, no matter who we are, where we are, what abilities we have or lack. Each of us is necessary.
Each of us is loved.
And on that note, belatedly, but with sincere intent: