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Rome Reports

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94-year-old woman at general audience: I kissed and hugged the Pope, I can't ask for better

With a bit of help and effort, anyone can make their way to the general audience. This group of people with disabilities or suffering from ilnesses came from Tricarico, in southern Italy. They not only saw and heard the Pope up close, the group also greeted him personally. One of those lucky few was Felicetta, a 94-year-old woman, whom the Pope blessed. FELICETTA "I kissed and hugged him. He kissed me and gave me his blessing. He placed his hand on my head. I asked that he give his blessing to me, my children and my family. More than that, I hugged him, I kissed him.â? Her visit was made possible thanks to UNITALSI, an Italian volunteer agency that takes people with illnesses and disabilities on pilgrimages around the world. VOLUNTEER  "It's a beautiful thing because we spend time with each other. It's not our first experience together. We often take them out. We've been to Lourdes, to Pompeii, we go everywhere.â? This was the group's first general audience with the Pope. They, as well as the volunteers, say the experience has been unforgettable. FELICETTA  "It was beautiful. I can't ask for anything better.â? VOLUNTEER  "It was very exciting. There are no words to describe what you feel when you're close to the Pope.â? Their trip back home lasted five hours, but after spending a few moments with the Pope, they said it's time well spent. YJA/RCA MG FA -BN Up: YJA