November 16, 2016
Philomena Stendardo, a 7-year-old girl from Port Richmond, was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. But if you ask Stendardo and her family, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done.
Their answer is prayer.
Since Philomena’s diagnosis on Sept. 15, her parents, Mark Stendardo and Mina Carroll, started the hashtag #StormTheHeavens to garner prayers for the girl, a student at St. George's Catholic Elementary School.
Since starting the Facebook page, Philomena, who goes by Phil or Bean, has received prayers from thousands of people, both in her community and from around the world, including celebrities like Beyonce, who gave her a shoutout at a Philadelphia concert, as well as U.S. soccer star Carli Lloyd; former Philadelphia Phillie Ryan Howard and others.
The Storm the Heavens Facebook page currently has more than 12,000 followers.
But on Wednesday, Philomena prayed, in person, with Pope Francis through a “Make A Wish” request.
Philomena's mom, Mina Carroll, shared a short and sweet snippet on Facebook about how Phil’s request and subsequent meeting with Pope Francis on Wednesday came to be: