At JFK, Pope Blesses Girl in Wheelchair, Lights Up at Replica Doll

When Pope Francis disembarked at Kennedy Airport in New York City, a young student in a wheelchair only hoped she could catch a glimpse of him.

Instead, as the pope approached her as he went down the line of people waiting for him, he stopped to bless her. 

In tears after the emotional moment captured by NBC 4 New York, Julia Buzzese of Brooklyn said she seized the opportunity to ask Pope Francis to bless her.

The 12-year-old kissed his ring, "and he put his hands on my forehead and he blessed me and he looked at me." 

"It means that he's going to give me a miracle, to walk again," Buzzese said, crying. "I know I will walk again because of him." 

The seventh-grader from St. Bernadette School in Brooklyn said she gradually lost her feeling in her legs back in May. On June 5, she suddenly could not move her legs or take another step. 

"I'm still battling it today," she said. Doctors have been unable to determine what is wrong with her. 

In another joyful -- and lighthearted -- moment at the airport, a school teacher beamed as she recalled how the pope took a replica doll from her hands

The doll had been sent to schools by the Catholic Television Network, and St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy in Brooklyn had been praying to it. 

Annette Sciascia asked her principal if she could take the doll to the airport, and "when I held it up, the Holy Father lit up."

"I saw his whole face light up," said Sciascia, of Dyker Heights. "It made his day, I think. It made my day, and our whole school is so proud right now." 

The pope headed straight to St. Patrick's Cathedral in midtown for an evening prayer service

Contact Us