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Our favorite stories of 2016

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Before we ring in 2017, a look back at some of our favorite pieces, and some worthies you may have missed

20) “This is a kiss from the pope…”: Francis’ letter to a dying girl, by Diane Montagna
The pope began, “Read this letter together with your mother, and the kiss that she will give you now will be a kiss from the pope.”

He is known for picking up a phone to call someone who has sent him a letter; in the case of a 10-year-old girl named Paolina, the pope sent a missive that would bring great comfort, and a lasting memento of something shared, to her family:

During the homily, Fr. Michele read a letter Paolina had received from Pope Francis. It came in response to a letter which the girl’s mother had sent to the pope, asking him to bless her daughter and to pray for her.

Pope Francis would have received Paolina in the Vatican on October 26, but she was unable to keep the appointment, as she wasn’t well enough to make the journey.

Read the pope’s letter here

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