By David Spunt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s one of those moments that’s hard to not watch over and over again.
One-year-old Gianna Masciantonio was quickly hoisted in the air and kissed by Pope Francis on the head on his way to Independence Hall.
“I held her over the fence as far as I could and that’s when the Swiss Guard or Secret Service guard grabbed her and took her over and pope kissed her and blessed her,” said father Joey Masciantonio.
Smack dab on the back of the head. That’s where little Gianna has an rare inoperable brain tumor. Her blood cells attacked her brain stem and surgery is not an option.
“The doctors basically came in and said go home. You have days to weeks, maybe months with your daughter,” said her father.
“They said there would be no way she would see her first birthday,” said mother Kristen Masciantonio.
Gianna Grace Masciantonio turned a year old on September 17th. She was named for St. Gianna, a modern day saint from Italy who died in 1962. St. Gianna’s daughter was on stage with Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families and met little Gianna this week.
“I had a dream that she was walking up stairs which meant that she had to be old enough to be walking and at the top of the stairs was the Pope and Saint Gianna’s daughter. And I had that dream and it came true,” said Gianna’s mother.
The Masciantonio family waited with a friend from the FBI in front of the federal building who told them the day of, it might be possible to get close to the pope.
If you ask her parents, Gianna’s future is a bright one, thanks to the pope, the FBI, and a little help from upstairs.
“I fell to my knees and I cried and I thank the lord for helping us get through this and giving us this blessing,” said her mother.