Pope says autistic kids are beautiful, unique flowers to God
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis told a group of children with autism and spectrum disorders Monday that they are beautiful, unique flowers in the eyes of God.
Francis met with members of an Austrian center for autism, Sonnenschein ("Sunshine"), in an audience at the Vatican. He told them that the center's name evoked a flower-filled lawn in the sun "and the flowers of this house are you!"
Speaking to the children, their parents and caregivers from the center, Francis said: "God created the world with a great variety of flowers of all different colors. Each flower has its unique beauty. And each one of us is beautiful in the eyes of God, who loves us."
Francis has a particular soft spot for children, allowing himself even amid coronavirus social distancing protocols to greet and pat them on the head during his public audiences.
He has frequently met with groups of children and parents who are experiencing difficulties in caring for them, hoping to encourage them through sickness, disability, poverty and other challenges.
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)
New program aims to help drivers with disabilities
Experts discuss link between mental health and gun violence
Crowds gather in the Valley to protest Roe v. Wade overturn
CDC reports 3 Valley counties have high Covid transmission rates
TxDOT provides tour of new westbound bridge on Pharr interchange