Quebec boy travels to Rome to sing for Pope
A young boy from the Quebec City area who is coping with a rare disorder is about to live one of his dreams by singing for Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.
Jeremy Gabriel has Treacher Collins Syndrome, a disease that causes facial disfigurement and deafness.
Following several surgeries, Jeremy regained his hearing and learned to sing.
Since his story became public, he has been invited to perform at a number of prestigious events, including a Montreal Canadiens game and a Céline Dion concert.
The nine-year-old left Quebec City on Sunday to travel to Rome. His private audience with the Pope is scheduled for Thursday, just before the Ark of the New Covenant receives its papal blessing at the Vatican.
The Old Testament tells the story of how the Israelites built a chest, called the Ark of the Covenant, for the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, which God gave to Moses.
The ark to be blessed by the Pope is a Quebec-built artistic replica of that chest covered in iconic images. It measures approximately 1.2 metres wide, 0.6 metres high, and 0.6 metres deep.
Roman Catholics in Quebec are still awaiting confirmation that the Pope will personally close the event by celebrating a mass on the Plains of Abraham.