Brother of girl kissed by Pope appointed Special Deputy US Marshal

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- A local family's life was forever changed after a very special moment with Pope Francis when he came to Philadelphia in September, and the support for them continued Tuesday.

5-year-old Dominic Masciantonio took the oath and was named a special deputy US Marshal in Center City.

He was given the honor for being the best big brother to his sister Gianna, who has battled back against a brain tumor.

She is 19 months old now and thriving, and her parents believe her kiss from the Pope has a lot do with that.

An FBI agent who is friends with the Masciantonio family arranged the blessing.

The honor for Dominic was to let him know just how special he is too.

Dominic's father Joey Masciantonio beamed with pride at the ceremony.

"He always had a smile on his face, a hug for his sister, and he has been an inspiration to myself and Kristen every single day. Gianna is truly blessed to have him as a brother and a role model," he said.

Pope Francis has been briefed on Gianna's progress and recently sent the family a memento to let them know he was praying for them.
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