I’ve enjoyed the little side stories that have come with Pope Francis visiting our nation.

When I was a kid, a family friend with a rare disease experienced a dream come true. An organization helped her to travel to Toronto to see Pope John Paul II.

I loved hearing about the pope riding by in his “popemobile” and seeing my special little friend struggling to see him, fighting to keep her balance from on top of an apple crate. The pope saw her, smiled, and made the Sign of the Cross in her direction.

Sadly, my friend’s crate broke right after that and she was sent tumbling. Thankfully, she was not hurt.

The next day a newspaper reporter described the scene and embellished the story with a tale of the pope stopping to meet my friend. That didn’t happen — and it didn’t need to happen.

She received that day exactly the blessing she had wanted.

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