The Pope embraced Giuseppe before confirming him, and gifted him with a rosary as he asked the boy not to forget to pray for him. Giuseppe had recently written a letter to Pope Francis in which he revealed his strong desire to meet with the Pope; he was immediately invited to come to the Vatican.
The Pope also had words of encouragement and comfort for Giuseppe’s parents and for his sister and aunt who were present in the Square together with the Chaplain of the Meyer Hospital and with the assistant director of the local Florentine Caritas office. He also thanked the three Volunteers of Mercy who accompanied Giuseppe on his journey to Rome.
During the special Jubilee Audience, Pope Francis had special words of greeting for other sick and disabled persons, including Laura Salafia who was shot by mistake six years ago and has had to undergo a series of operations and rehabilitation, and Pompeo Barbieri, a survivor of the 2002 earthquake in the southern Aqulia region who has managed to become a swimming champion notwithstanding a disability that constrains him to a wheelchair.