Pope Francis Blesses Rick and Karen Santorum’s Bella

Senator Rick Santorum’s family has a special reason to be thankful for Pope Francis’ U.S. visit last week: While in Philadelphia, the pontiff took time to give a special blessing to Bella, Santorum’s seven-year-old daughter who was born with Trisomy 18:

The moment was captured on camera and made public on Instagram and Twitter. “He carried Bella up in his arms, kissed her, and blessed her. Tears of joy all around for the blessing of this holy and precious Father!” wrote Elizabeth Santorum, one of the Santorums’ seven children.

On his Twitter page, Santorum thanked the Pope for stopping to bless Bella:

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.