Pope Francis Takes Selfie With U.S. Students: ‘I Feel Absolutely Blessed!’

pope selfie washington lithuanian
Jay Alvey

What would you do if you had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the pope? Several children got the opportunity Wednesday – and whipped out their smartphones to take a selfie with the "Holy Father."

After a morning of hugs and handshakes, the pontiff stopped to pose with children from a Lithuanian school in Washington D.C. as he was departing Wednesday morning from the Apostolic Nunciature, where the pope is staying on the first leg of his U.S. trip.

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One, 16-year-old Enija Davidonyte, told NBC News' Tom Costello that she took a selfie with the pope because "that's what's popular these days."

It was a memorable moment for the teen, who smiled ear-to-ear as she held out her blue smartphone and took a picture with the leader of the Roman Catholic church. 

"It felt great. It was amazing," Davidonyte told Costello.

Davidonyte and the other students from her school, called Kristijonas Donelaitis, were blessed by the Pope, hugged him and waved Holy See flags.

"I feel absolutely blessed! I met with Pope Francis today and actually got to take a picture with him," she said in a post on Facebook, viewed by NBC News. "If it wasn't for my Lithuanian school and Monsignor Rolandas (Makrickas) I don't think I would have experienced this once-in-a-life time moment."

Davidonyte wasn't the only student to nab a selfie with the pontiff in Washington on Wednesday.

Madison Wood, a student at St. Mary’s Ryken in Leonardtown, Maryland, was up at 2 a.m. to get close to the pope at the Nunciature, she said. She and two other St. Mary's students shook his hand, then took a selfie with Francis in the background.

"I can't even put it into words. It was remarkable how much of a blessing it was to be there. The pope's presence was so humble and holy. It was awesome," Wood said.

Schoolchildren weren't the only ones taking selfies. U.S. bishops gathered to hear a prayer from Pope Francis Wednesday took selfies in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.


The increasingly popular papal selfie, which Francis has been happy to provide, is a reflection of an age where social media and smartphones rule the day. Many observers have called it a modern move for a non-traditional pope.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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