Pope meets missing girl's parents

The parents of four-year-old Madeleine McCann of England met with Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday, nearly a month after their daughter went missing in Portugal.

Benedict XVI blesses photograph of four-year-old English child

The parents of four-year-old Madeleine McCann ofEngland spoke briefly with Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican Cityon Wednesday, nearly a month after their daughter went missing in Portugal.

An emotional Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley in Leicestershire, came face to face with the Pope and showed him a photograph of Madeleine, which he blessed. At one point, Gerry McCann kissed the Pope's hand.

The couple, who are devout Catholics, were among worshippers selected to speak with the Pope after his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square.

During the prayers, they wiped away tears as an English-speaking priest, speaking on behalf of the Pope, said, "In a special way his blessing goes to your children and your loved ones."

On Tuesday evening, theyleft the beach resort town of Praia da Luz in Portugal where their daughter went missing from their hotel room. They flew aboard the private jet of retail tycoon Sir Philip Green.

"We expect to receive a great spiritual lift, especially if we get to speak to the pontiff personally," Gerry McCannwrote on his web log before his departure.

The McCanns also plan to visit Spain, the Netherlands, Morocco and Germany to raise awareness of their daughter's disappearance.

On Tuesday, they released two video clips of their daughter that were filmed a few days before she went missing on May 3.

In one of the clips, Madeleine is seen walking up the steps of the plane at the East Midlands Airport in England for her outbound flight to Portugal.

Madeleine disappeared after her parents left her and her brother and sister, two-year-old twins, alone in their room while they went to a restaurant inside their hotel complex in Praia da Luz.