A special encounter at the Federico Gómez Pediatric Hospital in Mexico
MEXICO CITY — On Sunday, Pope Francis visited the Federico Gómez Pediatric Hospital in Mexico City. There he had a special encounter with a young cancer patient who sang the “Ave Maria” for him.
During his visit, the pope also spoke with children, their families and doctors, nurses and caregivers working at the pediatric hospital. He emphasized the importance of “kindness therapy” in helping the healing process, saying:
“I ask God to bless you, and to accompany you and your families, and all those people who work in this home and try to ensure that your smiles grow day by day. May God bless each person … not only doctors but also those who provide ‘kindness therapy,’ thus making the time spent here more enjoyable. This ‘kindness therapy’ is so important! So essential! Sometimes a caress can greatly help the process of healing.”
He then turned the children’s attention to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and shared with them the story of Juan Diego, and what Our Lady told him when he was worried about his loved one who was ill. He asked:
“Have you ever heard of the Indian Juan Diego? Or not? [The children respond: “Yes!”] Let’s see now, all those who know him, raise your arms. When his uncle was sick, he was quite worried and distressed. Then, the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to him and said, “Let not your heart be disturbed or upset by anything. Am I not here with you, I who am your mother?
We have Mary as our Mother, and so let us ask her to give us the gift of her son, Jesus. And now, I want to ask all you children one thing: Let’s close our eyes, close them, and ask her to give us what our hearts seek today. A little bit of silence with our eyes closed, and asking her what comes from our hearts. And now, together let’s say to our Mother:
Hail Mary …”
Pope Francis concluded, saying:
“May the Lord and the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe remain with you always. Thank you very much. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Do not forget! May God bless you.”
Read the full text of the pope’s address at the Federico Gómez Pediatric Hospital here.