(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday met with an Argentinian family that had taken a nearly 200-day and 13,000 mile journey across the Americas to see him at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
Catire and Noel Walker took their four children – ages 3 to 12 - through 13 countries in a Volkswagen bus.
"The Pope said to me explicitly to say [that he had met with the family] because for him it was a very interesting moment, and the experience of this family has touched him very much." said Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office.
The family met with the Pope early on Sunday morning, at his residence in Philadelphia’s Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary.
Catire Walker told journalists Pope Francis greeted them by saying "Are you the family who traveled from Buenos Aires? You're crazy!”
Walker described the meeting as “casual”, and said he told Pope Francis that thousands of families were praying for him.
Walker said Pope Francis told him he needed the prayers of everyone, and he said the Pope concluded their meeting by jokingly calling his family “troublemakers”.
The family said the meeting was the “best gift of all” after their long journey.