Pontiff tells disabled children God blessed them with life
by Mark Mueller/ The Star-Ledger Saturday April 19, 2008, 7:23 PM
The emotional high point of day five of Pope Benedict XVI's U.S. visit came late in the afternoon in a small seminary chapel where the pontiff offered a blessing for three dozen profoundly disabled children.
The chapel at St. Joseph's seminary in Yonkers, NY, echoed with the moans and muddled calls of the children when the pope entered. He made his way slowly to the altar, stopping to touch each child's cheek or head.
Parents snapped photos of the encounters. One mother began to cry as the pope lay his hands on her child.
"God has blessed you with life, and with differing talents and gifts," the pope said. "Through these you are able to serve him and society in various ways. While some people's contributions seem great and others' more modest, the witness value of our efforts is always a sign of hope for everyone."
A young girl approached the pope as he stood on the altar and thanked him for taking the time to visit.
"Your presence inspires us to be stronger Christians and love Jesus," she said.
Benedict visited the disabled children before his appearance at an outdoor rally at St. Joseph's for more than 32,000 Catholic youths from around the country.