Family of boy kissed by Pope Francis reacts to "Person of the Ye - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Family of boy kissed by Pope Francis reacts to "Person of the Year" title

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By: Alexandra Cowley

Time Magazine' has named Pope Francis as their Person of the Year. The 76–year–old Pontiff was chosen as the person who had the greatest impact on the world, for better or worse, over the last year.

The title is no surprise to a Johnston family, who's son has become known as the boy kissed by Pope Francis. It's been 9 months since the breathtaking moment made world headlines. The Gondreau family says it's been incredibly humbling. In that moment, they say the Pope showed the world the kind of leader he would he would be.

9-year-old Dominic Gondreau still shows excitement when he's reminded of the monumental moment.

"When he sees the pictures or he watches the news clips he squeals because he understands,"said Dominic's faher Paul.

Dr. Paul Gondreau, a Providence College Theology professor was teaching a semester in Rome. His family tagged along for the trip, never knowing it would be life changing.

"I think this year its probably been the most momentous moment in our lives as a family," said Dominic's mother Christiana.

It was Easter Sunday. Pope Francis was just weeks into his Papacy, when mother Christiana was pushed to the front of the crowd by an usher, who lifted Dominic up to the Pope.

"We feel like we have a special connection with Pope Francis because of this very special moment, not that we actually do, or we had a conversation with him," laughed Dr. Gondreau.

The Gondreau's say it's gestures like the one with their son that helped the Pope earn the title as Time Magazines Person of the Year.

"How many people can hold this boy and embrace him and you know who's going to take notice you know but when the Pope does it, and especially when you don't normally see that from the Pope," explained Dr. Gondreau.

The Gongreau's say Dominic has always been special to their family, and thanks to the moment when he was kissed by the Pope, the world knows how special he is too.

Christiana said, "He's always been very special to us, but to see that happen with other people is very beautiful and very special."

The Gondreau's always ask Dominic if he has a secret. That's because in the moment when the Pope kissed their son, he whispered something in his ear. They still don't know what he said.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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