By Karina Cheung
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After Pope Francis landed on the tarmac at Philadelphia International Airport Saturday, he blessed Michael Keating, a young boy in a wheelchair.
Photographer Joe Gidjunis captured the moments between Pope Francis, Michael Keating, and the rest of the Keating Family.
“What I was able to do I wasn’t expecting that whatsoever,” says Gidjunis.
Gidjunis says he wasn’t expecting to be so close to the Holy Father.
“About an hour and half before the Holy Father showed up, I was expecting to be back on the risers, way far away.” says Gidjunis. “All of a sudden I was told, ‘You’re on the tarmac. You’re going to be next to the Holy Father and all the other dignitaries when they are coming on the red carpet.’”
The Pope was in his Fiat, making his way out of Philadelphia International Airport when he stopped the car.
“This was an amazing moment. The Holy Father stepped out of his Fiat and saw Michael Keating by the railing.”
The sisters from Bishop Shanahan were waving and so was the band.
“He came on over, stopped the car and began to walk over,” says Gidjunis. “Everyone was going crazy since he stepped out of the car.”
Gidjunis was a volunteer for the event and was able to take photographs for the event as well.
“Where would I rather be this than right here, than being a part of all this and documenting it for so many other people? I was about to do some photography throughout the week and I had this opportunity thrust upon at the last-minute.”
He captured images of the Bose family greeting Pope Francis, photos of visitors around Philadelphia, along with Pope Francis blessing Michael Keating.