Just a month after she was born, Gianna Masciantonio’s parents were told to start making her funeral arrangements as she was born with a massive brain tumor. But in a miraculous turn of events, the family says their child was saved from imminent death after Pope Francis kissed her head and sparked the start of her recovery.
Doctors discovered a large inoperable tumor in Gianna’s brain stem at just 4 weeks old when she failed a routine hearing test. In fact, doctors said they were shocked that she had survived the pregnancy.
Gianna’s parents, Kristen and Joey Masciantonio, were told to put their daughter in hospice care as there was little the doctors could do. They were told to prepare for the worst and estimated that Gianna only had a couple of weeks to live.
The parents started contacting the best children’s hospitals in the country looking for second opinions, they were not going to give up on their baby girl.
Meanwhile, the family found solace in their faith. They prayed everyday for the baby girl and found hope to keep on.
When they heard news that the pope was visiting their town, they knew they had to be there. The couple had concerns about Gianna’s well-being in such a huge crowd, but decided to go anyway after a green light from the doctor.
The family headed to an area where the pope was expected to pass through. As Pope Francis made his way toward their location Joey held baby Gianna up high to attract the attention of the security guards. One of the body guards singled out baby Gianna and took her to the pope.
What followed was one of the most magical moments for the family. There, amongst thousands of onlookers, not knowing anything about Gianna’s story, Pope Francis kissed the child upon her head, thereby blessing the child.
Over the next couple of weeks, Gianna and her family went back to their normal lives with regular doctors’ visits.
But then, just six weeks after Gianna’s encounter with the pope, Joey and Kristen got news that could only be described as a miracle. Scans showed Gianna’s tumor had shrunk significantly, allowing Gianna to begin a steady recovery.
Did the pope’s kiss have a healing effect? You decide. But the Masciantonio family says, “The kiss was God’s work, that’s for sure.”
There is absolutely no doubt that Christ is a healer, and He does his work through man. The pope was that man. That’s just how I see it.