Pope Francis asked a teenager to sing for him during a special audience in the US via satellite, after telling the pontiff she turned to music for solace when s
Valerie Herrera, 17, in Chicago, was taking part in the pontiff's first-ever televised virtual audience with people in three American cities.
Francis spoke simultaneously with people in Los Angeles, McAllen in Texas, and at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago's Pilsen neighbourhood.
"I would like to hear you singing. May I ask of you to sing a song for me? Be courageous," Pope Francis said.
"I was so nervous and we were talking and I started crying because of the nerves," said Valerie Herrera afterwards.
The virtual visits in Chicago and other parts of the U.S. was hosted by ABC News and took place ahead of the pope's historic trip to the country later this month, his first as pontiff.
Francis is due to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York and take part in a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Centre, as part of the six-day visit.
Pope Benedict was the last pontiff to visit the United States in 2008.
A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference
In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.
Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.
For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.
Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.