Tuesday, April 22, 2008

'Agent' of God Helps Boy Meet Benedict


Sunday, April 20th 2008, 4:00 AM

Secret Service agent Brad Borst (below) carries Aaron Ruiz, 9, out of St. Patrick's. Ruiz, who has muscular dystrophy, was blessed by the Pope.

When Beverly Ruiz and her wheelchair-bound son arrived outside St. Patrick's Cathedral early Saturday they had no hope of getting inside.

But all that changed when 9-year-old Aaron, who has muscular dystrophy, caught the eye of one of the Secret Service agents safeguarding Pope Benedict.

Just moments before the historic Mass began, the federal agent singled out the mother and son and whisked them into the house of worship.

"After the Holy Father arrived and went inside, a man came up to us and said, 'We have a special place for you,'" Ruiz told the Daily News.

The Secret Service agent lifted Aaron out of his wheelchair and carried him up St. Patrick's steps. The agent then found a seat for the boy and his mother in the far right corner of the cathedral.

After celebrating Mass, Benedict walked over to Aaron.

"He came over and blessed him, and my son just smiled," Ruiz said. "It's just a miracle in itself, there's no way to describe it. It's just an absolute miracle that this happened in our lives."

Aaron and his mother, who were both wearing papal red, traveled from Corpus Christi, Tex., to be in Manhattan Saturday to see the Pope.

"I had this vision weeks ago and told my spiritual director that I believed that my son would be healed," she said. "It was beautiful, it was absolutely beautiful."

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