By the Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — Michael Keating, age 10, has had more than his share to bear.
Born prematurely, the Berks County boy has cerebral palsy. He can’t use his arms or legs. He suffers from seizures, and his brain cannot process what he sees or hears. He has intellectual disabilities. Last year, he had spinal fusion surgery, and in August, doctors replaced his hips. More surgeries are likely.
Yet for all that, Michael’s family says he knows joy. He loves music, he loves Shiloh, his black Lab. And he especially loves kisses, lots of kisses.
Saturday, Michael received a kiss, a gift, that by now has welled up tears around the world, a story told and retold:
How Pope Francis stopped the car that was whisking him off the tarmac at Philadelphia International Airport, walked up to a boy in a wheelchair to bless him, and gently placed a kiss on his forehead.