Aleteia

A Catholic is about to move into the White House: Melania Trump

Bambino Gesú pediatric hospital press and social media office
First Lady Melania Trump's visit to Bambino Gesú pediatric hospital, Rome, May 24, 2017
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From The Daily Mail: 

When Melania Trump recited The Lord’s Prayer before a Melbourne, Florida presidential rally in February, the Internet went hog wild.

Now we know one reason why the first lady began with ‘Let us pray’ and ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ when she introduced the president that evening: She’s a practicing Roman Catholic.

Her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham confirmed that to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, hours after Pope Francis blessed a rosary for her at the Vatican.

The last Catholics to live in the White House were John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie. Melania and her son Barron will move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over the summer.

Mrs. Trump did more than just show up for a Papal audience.

She spent time in prayer at the Vatican-affiliated Bambino Gesù (Baby Jesus) Hospital, and laid flowers at the feet of a statue of the Madonna.

Read more. 

Aleteia’s Diane Montagna has these additional details:

 Melania Trump’s last stop on her visit was the Bambino Gesù chapel. The oldest part of the hospital, the chapel dates back 150 years and is home to Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The First Lady was accompanied to the chapel by Duchess Maria Grazie Salviati and the hospital chaplain.

On entering the chapel, she blessed herself with holy water, lit a candle, and learned about the history of the chapel.

After a few minutes, and after journalists and photographers were asked to leave, Melania Trump was left all alone to pray.

Aleteia learned after the visit that the special request was made this morning. “She wanted to have some private time for prayer and reflection on her experience here, and the day as a whole.”

Asked about the First Lady’s visit to the Vatican and her meeting with the Pope, we were told: “It’s been a very moving experience for her.”

UPDATE: Sharp-eyed observers have noted that wedding photographs of Melania appear to show her with a rosary.  Here’s a report from the time:

The bride wore a $100,000 Christian Dior white gown with more than 1,500 hand-stitched crystal rhinestones and pearls. The dress had a 13-foot train, a 16-foot veil and took more than 1,000 hours to make. In place of a bouquet, she carried rosary beads that were a family heirloom.

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Deacon Greg Kandra
The Deacon's Bench
Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. For nearly three decades, he was a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to a variety of programs and was honored with every major award in broadcasting. Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.
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