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Indian teen felt special bond with Pope John Paul II

Naomi Miguel, an 18-year-old member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, says she always felt a special connection to Pope John Paul II, who died on Saturday at the age of 84.

When she was 11 months old, Miguel was blessed by the pope during his address to Catholic Native Americans in Arizona in 1987. She says the blessing has contributed to her success in life. A high school senior, she is considered a role model for the youth on the reservation and is active in her tribe and the church.

Before his death, the pope canonized Juan Diego, the first Indian saint. During his visit to Mexico and Central America, he called for justice for the region's indigenous people. He publicly apologized for the church's treatment of Natives and later apologized to Aborigines in Australia and Maoris in New Zealand.

Get the Story:
Pope visit blessed teen's life (The Arizona Republic 4/3)
'He Consoles Those Who Have Nothing' (The Washington Post 4/3)

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