Joe and Kristen Masciantonio’s 1-year-old daughter, Gianna, was given just weeks to live due to a rare brain tumor, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Kristen had long dreamed of having Gianna meet the Pope, so the family headed from their Warrington, Pennsylvania, home to Philadelphia in September for Francis’s visit, according to the Inquirer.
They attended the papal parade in front of Independence Hall, where the Pope spontaneously kissed little Gianna.
Nearly two months later, and after several rounds of chemotherapy, the family says scans of Gianna’s brain show her brain tumor has shrunk significantly. Parents Joe and Kristen credit the healing power of the Pope’s kiss.
“I think this is all from God. I believe the Pope is a messenger from God,” Joe told CBS Philadelphia.
The family said that little Gianna now has a bright future ahead of her, and they can’t wait to tell her the miraculous story.
“Last year was about living in honor of her,” Joe told CBS. “Now we’re going to get to live with her.”
He added to the Inquirer: “The miracle is all the people who prayed. The Pope is just the messenger that God heard.”