PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Joey and Kristen Masciantonio were so excited when they learned they would be welcoming a little baby girl into the world.
They decided to name their daughter after St. Gianna, a modern-day saint who died in 1962.
However, doctors told them their time with their daughter would be short-lived.
Her blood cells began attacking her brain stem just weeks after she was born.
Doctors diagnosed Gianna with a rare, inoperable brain tumor.
At that point, they began praying for a miracle and now, they say their prayers were answered.
They expected a quick glance, but got much more than they ever expected.
As they were watching Pope Francis’ parade cross in front of Independence Hall, one of the Pope’s bodyguards grabbed Gianna, bringing her to the pontiff.
Pope Francis spontaneously kissed Gianna on her forehead before handing her back to her parents.
Just two months later, Gianna’s health has changed drastically.
“I think this is all from God. I believe the Pope is a messenger from God,” Joey Masciantonio told KYW.
They say the proof is in the scans.
The tumor, which was easily seen in an August MRI, disappeared by November.
“She’s getting better and stronger. She’s blowing kisses. She’s starting to point at things,” Kristen Masciantonio said.
Her parents say they can’t wait to sit down with her and tell her what a difference a kiss made in her life.
“Last year was about living in honor of her. Now, we’re going to get to live with her,” Joey said.