Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, meet briefly with Pope Benedict at the end of the pope's weekly general audience Aug. 8 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Giffords was shot and seriously wounded during a political appearance in Arizona in 2011.
Catholic News Service
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, a U.S. astronaut, met briefly with Pope Benedict at the end of the pope’s weekly general audience.
Giffords, who was shot and seriously wounded during a political appearance in Arizona in 2011, traveled to Rome with her husband after a visit to the European Center for Nuclear Research in Switzerland.
At the end of the audience in the courtyard of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, Kelly and Giffords, assisted by a papal aide, went up to greet the pope. Giffords kissed the pope’s ring; after a brief chat with Kelly, the pope held Giffords’ hand.
The personal encounter with Pope Benedict was the second for Kelly, who had joined other crew members from the International Space Station and the space shuttle Endeavour at the papal villa last September. The pope had spoken, via satellite, to the crew four months earlier when they were orbiting the Earth.