Parents: Speechless after Pope hugged disabled son
ROME (WHDH) -- Pope Francis is responsible for leading the world’s Catholics and few ever get the chance to meet him, but a boy from Rhode Island got a very special blessing from the newly-elected leader.
Hundreds of thousands packed St. Peter’s Square on Sunday to witness Pope Francis deliver his Easter blessing.
After the morning Mass, the pope toured the square in his open-topped white Jeep. The Jeep stopped and Pope Francis reached into the crowd, extending his hands to a young disabled boy from Rhode Island.
“Not in a million years, really, did I expect to end the Easter Sunday Mass with a kiss from the pope. It was very beautiful,” said Christiana Gondreau, the boy’s mother.
Dominic Gondreau, an 8 year old with cerebral palsy, was brought to the square with his mother.
The two appeared on CNN’s Situation Room Monday night.
“I didn’t even know if we were going to get seating because we left a lot later than we expected, I have four other children and so when we got to the piazza it was packed,” said Christiana Gondreau.
Dominic’s father is a theology professor at Providence College and is teaching this semester in Rome. That paved the way for this Rhode Island boy, who his mom describes as a people person, to make worldwide headlines for embracing his moment.
“He broke out in a huge smile and he wrapped his arms around the pope, which was very moving as a mother and for my family to see that. It was a beautiful moment, even for the people around because there was not a dry eye around us. It was really, really moving,” said Christiana Gondreau.
Dominic’s father, Paul, wrote in his blog that he hopes this moment might change how people look at special needs children and the disabled. He believes it’s a testament to the value of every person, especially those the world deems as the weakest.