Dacula teen meets pope, asks for prayers for those battling cancer

Credit: Shelia Poole

Credit: Shelia Poole

ExploreGino Vizzi's dream was to meet Pope Francis and ask for his prayers.

He may have been surprised when the pontiff turned the tables and asked Vizzi to pray for him as well.

The 17-year-old Dacula teen, who battling cancer, and his family flew to Rome earlier this month to attend mass, where Vizzi met the pope. The trip was paid for by Make-A-Wish Georgia.

Since Vizzi has returned to Georgia, he is resting to regain his strength and catching up on homework.

Vizzi, an honor roll student at Mill Creek High School, did take time to answer a few emailed questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Vizzi,a parishioner at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Flowery Branch,  said the face time was very quick, but he was able to ask Pope Francis to pray for him. The pope also asked "me to pray for him."

"It was amazing," Vizzi said. It "was one of the most important days of my life."

During the mass, the pope spoke about the power of faith and the importance of family.

"Meaning we, as a family, must learn to harness the power of prayer and faith to keep the family together," Vizzi said. "That resonated with me...because the prayer and strength of my family is what keeps me going when I am tired...when I don't feel good. It was out collective prayer as a team that helped us get to meet him. I can relate to what the pope said. I want people my age to know that as well."

He said the pope's blessing and brief meeting gave him hope. He plans to continue to help fighting to find a cure for childhood cancer through his nonprofit, the P4Foundation,  .