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Gov. Hogan Receives Special Blessing From Pope Francis

BALTIMORE (WJZ) –A landmark moment for Gov. Larry Hogan as he receives a blessing from Pope Francis.

Jessica Kartalija reports the governor, who is receiving treatment for cancer, asked the Pontiff to pray for cancer patients everywhere.

In a statement to WJZ, Hogan said:

"It was an incredible honor to meet His Holiness Pope Francis today in Washington and receive his blessings on behalf of all cancer patients. My faith, like the faith of countless other patients like me, gives me strength to defeat this disease, and continue to be the best public steward I can be for the people of this great state.

I am inspired by the pope's words this week: He said that "Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people." Working to make people's lives better is something I can understand and will continue to put to work in my administration as well as my life."

During a semi-private meeting at Catholic Charities, Pope Francis took the governor's hand, offered him the sign of the cross, then gave him and the First Lady rosary beads.

Hogan was the only person to receive an individual blessing.

The governor, who is a practicing Catholic, has undergone 20 chemotherapy treatments, and doctors say he is responding well. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and has become an advocate for cancer patients.

"It's been a new calling for me ever since I got diagnosed with cancer I've been focused on this. And I've been touched by the number of lives and people that we've met that are going through similar battles," he said.

Now the governor has received a prayer from on high for the plight of all cancer patients.

Hogan missed the pope's arrival at Joint Base Andrews because he was at the University of Maryland Medical Center receiving treatment.

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