‘Deeply Emotional Moment’ as Pope Blesses Expectant Sikh Mother

Before leaving US, Pope Francis blessed an expectant Sikh mother in an “amazing” moment of divinity.

2 min read

Before Pope Francis left the United States, he made a brief speech, highlighting the special moments of his six-day trip.

He spoke at a small intimate gathering, the interfaith prayer meeting at the September 11 Memorial and Museum, which he “described as a journey of faith through the heart of New York.”

Among the dozen leaders present at the meeting were Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Greek Orthodox and Protestants.

The choice of Ground Zero as a venue was significant. It is “that place,” the Pope said, “which speaks so powerfully of the mystery of evil.”

Before leaving US, Pope Francis blessed an expectant Sikh mother in an “amazing” moment of divinity.
Pope Francis is flanked by representatives of different religions during an interfaith service at the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum in New York on Friday. (Photo: AP)

In the highly emotional ceremony, where the devout offered prayers, what was particularly moving was the presence of Satpal Singh, who survived the 1984 Delhi riots involving the massacre of innumerable Sikhs. During the riots, he was brutally beaten till he fell unconscious. The rioters assumed he was dead and moved on, leading to his survival.

Soon afterwards, Singh immigrated to the United States and is now a professor at Buffalo School of Medicine.

In an editorial for The Washington Post, Singh wrote,

As I sat next to Francis during the ceremony, I kept thinking to myself: Never in my life could I have imagined I would be in this position. [...] I am honoured to have been selected to share the stage with this great man. Although we do not share the same religious tradition, we both share a view on what it means to be a person of faith.

Before leaving US, Pope Francis blessed an expectant Sikh mother in an “amazing” moment of divinity.
(Photo: AP)

Singh’s daughter Gunisha Kaur, an anaesthesiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, specialising in global health work, was also invited. She also documented the ceremony in English. A passionate human rights and gender equality advocate, this Sikh leader has gained prominence by being a powerful voice among the community.

Kaur called this prayer meeting the most “amazing” event ever. She said,

When Pope Francis walked in, I felt the divinity of his presence. It seems as if time stood still.

She further noted that the service with minority communities was especially important because many of them became targets of racial attacks after 9/11.

Kaur’s husband Simran Jeet Singh is an assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Trinity College. Singh is also the Senior Religious Fellow for the Sikh Coalition.

Kaur is four months pregnant. Being blessed by Pope Francis was a deeply emotional moment for her. She says,

I cannot wait for that moment when I will share this picture (her photograph with Pope Francis) with our child and talk of the memories of that day, when we all came together to pray in our unique way.

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