16-year-old Mark Rouk is a Christian Arab youth living in east Jerusalem, and his one wish is to meet the pope.
Rouk suffers from chronic illness in addition to an infection in his joints and tendons that cause persistent pain. Due to his medical ailments, Rouk is much smaller than his peers and has been confined to a wheelchair until just recently.
Upon learning of Pope Francis’ impending visit to Jerusalem, Rouk approached Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau to help him get his wish.
According to the boy’s family members, Rouk believes that being near the pope will be the blessing he needs to heal.
“The pope’s visit in Israel is all about the strengthening of relations between the religions to create a dialogue of peace and fraternity between nations, and there is no better way to display that than when a young boy feels he can ask the chief rabbi of Israel to help make this wish come true.
“I plan to invite him to join me to attend the official reception ceremony for the pope, and I hope there will also be an opportunity for a meeting between the pope and the boy.”
Whether or not you believe in miracles, the sentiments imbedded here are uplifting. The concept of faith differs for each of us, and the common thread is a shared need to believe in something — be that religious, spiritual or otherwise.
Embedded in our personal beliefs is an incredible healing power. I hope this visit brings Rouk the peace he seeks.
via Israel Hayom, Photo Credit: Getty Images