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Tears and Triumph as Pope Francis Asks Bullied Student to 'Be Courageous' While Singing For Him

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On Monday Pope Francis spoke to a group of Americans in three different cities via satellite from Rome and asked one teenage girl to sing for him.

The cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church requested that the girl perform after she told him that she had been bullied for a rare skin condition and had found solace in music.

There were tears and triumph as 17-year-old Valerie Herrera from Chicago at first got nervous and hesitated, to which the Pope said to “be courageous,” the Associated Press reports.

“I was so nervous, and we were talking and I started crying because of the nerves,” Herrera told local Chicago station, WLS-TV.


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Francis later asked requested prayers for his upcoming trip to the United States. He makes his first stop on Sept. 22 in Washington and then heads to New York and Philadelphia.

“I’m praying for all of you, the people of the United States, and I ask you to pray for me,” he said during the event arrange by ABC News which was available to some residents in Los Angeles, Chicago and McAllen, Texas.