The moment was captured on camera and made public on Instagram and Twitter. “He carried Bella up in his arms, kissed her, and blessed her. Tears of joy all around for the blessing of this holy and precious Father!” wrote Elizabeth Santorum, one of the Santorums’ seven children.
Check out the pictures below:
Of course, Rick Santorum is not an unabashed fan of the current pope. As he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in January, he finds it sometimes “very difficult to listen” to Francis.
“When he speaks as the leader of the Catholic Church, I’ll certainly pay attention,” said Santorum, a devout Catholic. But the former Pennsylvania senator also took issue with a then-recent comment from Francis — that a ban on contraception does not mean Catholics should breed “like rabbits.”
“When he speaks in interviews, he’s giving his own opinions, which I certainly will listen to,” Santorum said. “But from my perspective, that doesn’t reflect the idea that people shouldn’t be fruitful and multiply, and that people should be open to life as something that is a core value of the faith and of the Catholic church.”
Francis departed Philadelphia for Rome on Sunday after spending six days in the United States. His official account tweeted this early Monday:
Read more of the Post’s pope coverage here.