Pope Francis Makes Exception to Bless Guide Dog

Journalist Alessandro Forlani wasn’t sure he’d even be allowed in when the new pope met with the world media on Saturday. Guards had told him he most likely wouldn’t because of his guide dog, however Vatican officials let him and his guide dog Asia in and after the pope’s thank you speech to the media Pope Francis asked to meet Forlani and Asia.

Forlani is a visually impaired radio journalist and showed up on Saturday at the Vatican’s auditorium for Pope Francis’ address to the media. Accompanying him was his guide dog, a yellow Labrador Retriever named Asia. “As I waited in line to enter the hall, the security guards told me that most likely I wouldn’t be allowed to get in with the dog,” Forlani wrote on his Facebook page. “But after a few minutes, Vatican official gave me the green light and I was accompanied by a Swiss guard to the audience hall.” Forlani and Asia were given a seat in the front rows.

After the pope delivered his speech a selected group of media went before him. As they lined up Vatican officials came up to Forlani. “They said that Pope Francis had asked to meet me. He had seen Asia and wanted to see both us,” said Forlani. “He broke the ceremonial rules as my presence on stage with Asia wasn’t previously arranged.”

Asia walked by Forlani’s side and approached pope Francis, giving his white robe a brief sniff and then patiently waited while Forlani spoke with the pope. Forlani asked the pope for a blessing for his wife and daughter. The pope wanted to make sure Asia also got a blessing,“ He said, ‘and a special blessing for your dog too,’” Recalled Forlani. The pope reached down and stroked the yellow Lab. The pope’s attention and affection toward Asia is fitting for the name he took as St. Francis is the patron saint of animals.


  1. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 10:49 am

    Lovley story of our new Pope bless him ,and his path ahead .

  2. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 10:57 am

    The day he became Pope Francis I felt in my heart he was going to do good or the Catholic Church. Not a Catholic but nonetheless I am a Christian & we are based upon Christianity I felt such a wonderful feeling in my heart. I loove that be blessed Asia afterall he did choose St Francis the patron st of animals. :-)

  3. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 11:29 am

    I’ not Catholic and haven’t had much use for popes but this man is GREAT

  4. Please if you would sign this petition to end the suffering of animals being born into a world that has no place for them. Thank you!


  5. Denise in Dana Point says on  03/18/2013 at 2:25 pm

    I believe St. Francis of Assisi would approve. WTG, Pope Francis…there is hope!

  6. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 3:40 pm

    Lovely story about the Pope and Asia.

  7. I’m going to LOVE this Pope! Bless Benedict for stepping aside and thank
    God for putting Francis in place.

  8. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 5:07 pm

    My tears fell when I read this news. I’m a dog lover and all pets. I just love them! I miss my Maltese Jiggy and Precious. . . .

  9. junny barcenilla says on  03/18/2013 at 5:12 pm

    My tears fell when I read this news. I’m a dog lover and all pets. I just love them!! I miss my Maltese Jiggy and Precious . . . . .

    Viva Pope Francis !!!

  10. Luca Mazzocco (@lukebdb) says on  03/18/2013 at 5:17 pm

    Only a small correction the journalist is a man and his name is Alessandro …. please correct it :)

  11. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 5:21 pm

    Just hope he can show this kinda of love to every human. He would not show this to a gay man or woman.

    • Albany Rose says on  03/18/2013 at 5:50 pm

      He would not show this kindness to a gay person? You realize he got death threats and cruel comments from other Catholics because he demanded the people begin treating gays with respect, as they are still human. They do not have to agree with homosexuality to be kind to them and treat them as what they are, human beings like the rest of us.

      • Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 5:58 pm

        March 18, 2013 5:53 pm
        Well thanks for that I guess. Guess I can be human as long as go by what the church says. He called gays the devil. Come on open your eyes just another old white guy trying to live in the past.

        0 0


        • Albany Rose says on  03/18/2013 at 6:19 pm

          Clearly you suck at reading. As long as what the church says? Where did that even come from. Also, he never called gays the devil. How about you do a bit more research before you make yourself sound like an idiot. Show some proof.

          • Fool! says on  03/18/2013 at 6:34 pm

            You’re a bloody idiot. The man is just a man. No better than me or you—-oh wait, I AM better because I’m not a hateful bigot like most Catholics are.

            Gay is bad but pedophilia is a-ok? You people make me sick. Blessing a dog is lovely, but it doesn’t change the fact that this church is corrupt to the gills.

          • Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 6:43 pm

            I am sorry he didn’t call gay ppl the Devil I’m copying what he did say. is also the same man who in no uncertain terms spoke of gay ‘marriage’ as a machination of the devil. And why does it come to you calling me names. Never called you a thing. Christian live at its best . I can get more if you would like. I notice you said nothing about the adoption and the abuse the church has let go on for so long. Funny how you did not say anything.

          • Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 7:16 pm

            And yes what the church says. Maybe you should read.

        • Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 8:37 pm

          if you have nothing positive to say…best to keep your mouth shut, otherwise you come across as an ignorant uneducated fool!

          • Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 8:46 pm

            Uneducated? I study religion. I can quote from many different religious books. So anytime you really want to talk, and I do mean talk. Because not one time have I called you anything. Your Christian love amazes me. So I pray that God opens the minds of some of his followers for right now they are closed.

  12. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 5:53 pm

    Well thanks for that I guess. Guess I can be human as long as go by what the church says. He called gays the devil. Come on open your eyes just another old white guy trying to live in the past.

  13. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 5:55 pm

    He said allowing us to adopt was like child abuse. Do what is he going to do to all the priest who are abusing children sexually . Wake up.

    • Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 6:32 pm

      Yes he did say adoption by a homosexual person was child abuse because they would first all be deprived of both a mother and a father and secondly, I believe because they would be exposed to evil behavior that is being called good. When someones soul is at stake and not just their body one views things differently. He will not be popular with many who are outside the Body of Christ because he will stand against evil…..and yes homosexuality it evil. One can judge the behavior and not the heart of the person…the later is for God alone to judge, but we are to judge behavior.

  14. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 6:49 pm

    Your so full of hate. Learn your sins. If homosexuality is a sin then you wear pants is as well, or you wear two different Fabrics should I go on. Priest molesting children and yet they are still priest. You can just pick and choice sins.

  15. Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 7:28 pm

    We love Homosexual people but that does not change the fact that homosexual acts are evil. We love the sinner but hate the sin.

    Also, if you investigated male homosexual child abuse in the public schools and the Boy Scouts etc. you would see that the problem is much more severe than it WAS in the Church.

    • Anonymous says on  03/18/2013 at 7:38 pm

      Really you just said that it is much more severe in the Boy Scouts and schools than in the church. Does it matter. It adults molesting children. And if you read most of the men that are molesting children are not homosexual. Really wow. Guessing its ok because they are priest and serve no jail time they just get moved and prayed for. It’s not male homosexual child abuse. It’s sick men that molest children. I have been told I should read more. I’m thinking you all should as well.

      • Tim D. says on  03/22/2013 at 12:08 am

        To Anonymous: With respect, as a Catholic who is hardly perfect, I agree that priests who abuse children should be prosecuted, and their victims should receive counseling and financial compensation. Yet consider this 2002 studyby ex-Penn State Prof. Phillip Jenkins, an ex-Catholic, now Episcopalian. Over a 20 year period, his research found that married Christian clergy and NON-CLERGY (my emphasis added) were just as likely to molest kids as celibate Catholic priests. Further, about 10 years ago, the U.S. Dept. of Ed commisssioned a study about abuse of students in public schools. It was authored by Carol Shakeshaft, educational reseracher at VA Commonwealth University. She found that public school employees were more likely than priest to sexually haraass or rape syudents, and that the school principals often quietly transferred the offenders to other schools, withpout notifying th police. All child mlesters should be prosecuted. No one religion should be singled out. Respectfully, Tim D.

  16. Anonymous says on  03/19/2013 at 12:03 am

    Take your “religious” discussion somewhere else besides here. It’s a good story & your ugly comments are taking away from that.

  17. Anonymous says on  03/19/2013 at 12:17 am

    To that gay idipot and the others arguing, go find a rock and crawl under it.
    We are discussing a good story about a dog here. A service dog and it is very touching the new Pope blessed him! I like him already and give the man a chance, he just started for petes sake! God Bless Jesus and God bless ALL DOGS!!!!

  18. Anonymous says on  03/19/2013 at 12:23 am

    Where did we lose the beauty of a man blessing a dog that does so much for another? Your conversation should be taken elsewhere and let the light be seen when it can.

  19. Anonymous says on  03/19/2013 at 12:53 am

    Now if he’d just give the nod for women priests and condoms the church might start to grow again.

  20. Anonymous says on  03/19/2013 at 1:10 am

    He is a man of God. Very humble :)

    I will pray for you…

  21. Regards we hope that u we always keepp us in your prayers andwee hope that u know Over problem in ”’PAKISTAN””??

  22. Anonymous says on  03/22/2013 at 9:14 pm

    Beautiful to see a noble dog and the love
    and loyalty between Asia and her companion.
    She deserves a special blessing- she has
    a special mission on this earth. The Pope
    Affirmed this with his Blessing. There is a
    very special reason, dear to his heart
    That he chose Francis.

  23. Anonymous says on  03/23/2013 at 2:27 am

    he will be end the turturing of animals ..im so thankful thst God give us a pope who help to end turturing animals,, hope catholicism will srread throgout in the world

  24. Love your dogs everyday and give them an extra belly scratch dogcameramount.com

  25. The new pope seems kind and generous of spirit. That fact that he is kind to dogs shows what kind of a person he is.

  26. Next says on  01/19/2015 at 11:18 am

    Evil can do good things and idiot people believe them easily, they see only that mans’ surface is good but not the truth so they cannot smell the deeply stinking fact of being a childrens’ murderer.

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