MEXICO CITY, MEXICO A girl at a pediatric hospital performed a heartfelt rendition of Ave Maria for Pope Francis Sunday. It was an emotional moment during the pope's trip to Mexico.
Dignitaries, media and hospital staff listened to the girl perform the classical song, holding back tears.
Francis stood next to the girl as she sang, then bent down and kissed her cheek after she finished, sharing a few words. The girl, identified as 15-year-old Alexia Guarduno has osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. She has an operation scheduled for the end of the month.
The pope's visit to Federico Gomez Pediatric Hospital in Mexico City marks a poignant stop during his week-long trip to the country. It's his first visit there as pontiff.
Another child at the hospital presented Francis with a handmade Valentine's Day card with a big heart on the front. The pope bent down and kissed dozens of sick kids.
The pope makes a point of stopping at children's hospitals during his foreign trips, both to visit with the kids and to thank the staff for caring for them. The hospital was previously visited by Pope John Paul the second in 1979.