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God excludes no one from his love; offers mercy, not hate, pope says


  • Pope Francis greets Lizzy Myers of Mansfield, Ohio, during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 6. Myers, who has a disease that is gradually rendering her blind and deaf, met the pope as part of her "visual bucket list." (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis passes a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe as he greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis kisses a baby during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • A woman waves a Medjugorje hat as Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 6. Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, is the site of alleged Marian apparitions. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Jesus brought humanity God's merciful, saving love, not hatred and animosity, Pope Francis said.

"Jesus makes visible a love open to everyone -- nobody excluded -- open to everyone without bounds," he said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square April 6.

The pope also met with and blessed the eyes of 5-year-old Lizzy Myers from Mansfield, Ohio.

Struck by a rare disease that is gradually rendering her deaf and blind, Myers was in Rome after a representative from Turkish Airlines heard about her story and offered her and her family free round-trip airfare to any city in the world.

Her parents, Steve and Christine Myers, had created a "visual bucket list" of places and things they wanted Lizzy to see before she loses her sight due to Usher Syndrome Type II A. They chose Rome and the Vatican to be their special destination because they are Catholic and because of the city's artistic and historical riches, they told Associated Press.

After meeting with bishops and a few special delegations at the end of his general audience, Pope Francis went directly to Lizzy Myers, who was seated with her family in a section reserved for those with special needs. He leaned over her for several minutes, speaking with her and then laid his right hand over her eyes, offering his blessing. Vatican Radio said she gave the pope a small box containing a piece of a meteorite that fell in Ohio.

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