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  • Devotional medals and rosaries and have been a part of Catholicism for centuries. This week, as throngs packed New York City to catch a glimpse of the Pope, many of the onlookers brought items to be blessed. Here are a few of their stories.</br></br>"I woke up this morning and put on my grandmother's favorite necklace and prayed to her that I'd get to see the Pope today. She was a nun in a convent, then served as a corporal in the Marines during World War II. And the stars aligned - we got tickets!" - Alyson Smith, New York.
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  • "My son drew this picture for the Pope. We came here today because I've experienced domestic violence and hope we can receive his blessing." - Ingri Valenzuela from Bronx, New York.
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  • "Every year people from Bethlehem, where there are few Christians left, come to my parish. This year, I bought this rosary from them. Being Catholic, just being in the Pope's presence I feel blessed." - Rose Mary Kufuor, Queens, New York.
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  • "This is a handmade rosary that I got after the birth of my second son. And the other one is green, it's from Ireland. The wooded one is from the Vatican- that's a really special one." - Tara McGuinnis, Rockaway Beach, New York.
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  • "This necklace is from my grandparents, it's the trinity, they got it in Ireland about 5 years ago. They live in Florida now and have been texting me updates about the Pope. They're so excited, it's such a special occasion." - Shanly Sullivan, Long Island, New York.
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  • "I'm wearing the Miraculous Medal, my mom always thought it kept us safe. I got it in Ireland 25 years ago, and have worn it every day since then." - Patricia Johnson, Queens, New York.
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  • "The pink rosary was a gift from a friend who gave it to me when my mom passed. The wooden bracelet is from Dominican Republic and the cross I'm wearing is from when my mother passed. I saw John Paul II with her in Liverpool when I was 18 years old. It was the first time he used the popemobile! Now I'm here today with my two boys and husband, I hope when he passes he'll bless all my religious trinkets." - Alex MacDonnell, Brooklyn, New York.
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  • "It's a spiritual experience for me, I play guitar at my church and wear this necklace every day. This is the first time I see the Poppa. For me, it's beautiful, it's un sueno." - Wilfredo Ortiz, Mamaroneck, New York.
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  • "I'm a New York retired policeman, I spent 20 years in the service. We brought these two Celtic crosses from when my parents passed away. Just by being in his presence they will be blessed." - Ed and Patt Dolon from Jackson, New Jersey.
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  • "My husband bought me this gold medal of St. Catherine Laboure 30 years ago. I was introduced to St. Catherine at age six when I was in grammar school, and I wear the necklace almost every day. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I've seen Pope Benedict in Italy but I've never seen Pope Francis." - Mary Carroll, Eastchester, New York.
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