BATH BEACH - A 12-year-old girl from Bath Beach who uses a wheelchair for mobility had a chance to meet the pope when he was in town last week.

Julia Bruzzese says she turned to St. Bernadette's Church and School when she lost her ability to walk.

She also says she believes her meeting with Pope Francis is a sign that she will one day walk again.

Last Wednesday, Julia's school principal called her and told her she might have a chance to meet the pope when he landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. On Thursday, the girl and her family received tickets.

Julia says she kissed the pope's ring and he gave her a blessing.

Julia was diagnosed with Lyme disease in May. She says her doctors haven't been able to determine why the condition left her unable to walk.

But she says that the pope's blessing was a gift and that she believes she will recover.