COPACABANA BEACH, Brazil, July 28, 2013—A World Youth Day (WYD) delegate-priest from the Diocese of Legazpi in Albay literally became the angel who bridged a car accident victim to a rare opportunity to kiss and hug Pope Francis amid millions of Catholics gathered here in Rio de Janeiro.
Fr. Jonathan Bailon said he had to use his charm and his credential as priest to convince security personnel against driving away a woman on wheelchair, who went to Copacabana Beach with her mother and aunt just to see Pope Francis like millions of WYD pilgrims and Brazilians.
Bailon said he could not remember the disabled woman´s name but said it was the mother who asked him to help them stay at the area that they occupied to have a glimpse of the Holy Father during the Welcoming Ceremony three days ago.
The priest said he talked to the policemen securing the restricted area where they were at and was able to convince them to let the disabled woman and her relatives stay. The policemen eventually agreed but kept an eye on them.
To his amazement, Bailon saw the policemen carrying the disabled woman towards Pope Francis when he passed by the area where they were. He recorded the Holy Father’s arrival and the approach of the disabled woman on his iPad.
In the video recording, Pope Francis kissed and embraced the disabled woman and blessed the policemen that brought her to him while Fr. Bailon himself got to touch the hand of the Holy Father.
“I’ve met this woman in a wheelchair, a car accident victim. She wanted to see the Pope. I helped her and her companion. And God answered our prayers. Pope Francis stopped and kissed the woman. What an abundant blessing!” he said.
Bailon’s encounter with Pope Francis did not end at merely seeing him because he said all of them were hugging each other and crying because of the joy of seeing the Holy Father.
“It only goes to show that when you help others, you will also be helped in return,” he added.
Other WYD delegates also shared their memorable experience waiting to see Pope Francis for the first time. For more sharing, log on to wydpinoy.com or visit YouthPinoy’s youtube channel. (YouthPinoy)