NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 12-year-old girl who has been confined to a wheelchair since being diagnosed with Lyme disease said meeting Pope Francis as he arrived in New York Thursday was “the most precious moment of my life.”
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, the girl, Julia Bruzzese, said she had been confined to a wheelchair after a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease. She said doctors still have yet to figure out exactly what left her unable to walk.
“I came here because I wanted to meet the pope, because I believe in a miracle,” she said.
And when he stepped off the plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Pope Francis touched her as she asked for a blessing.
“It was the most precious moment of my life,” Julia said.
Julia told CBS2’s Brennan she did not hear Pope Francis say anything, but “he touched me,” and nodded as she said “bless me father.”
Brennan asked Julia if there was anything she would say to the pope.
“Thank you Holy Father, you made me so happy. Thank you,” she said.
She said she was hoping for her miracle, and “I believe.”
Julia thanked Sister Joan and the students from St. Bernadette School in Brooklyn, which she attends.
“They’ve been by my side this whole entire time and made this happen for me,” she said.