A family in Katy got a rare up-close visit with the Pope.

Pope Francis blessed the family’s 9-month-old daughter in front of 30,000 people in Vatican City last week.

For Courtney Carter and her husband, their 9-month-old daughter, Frankie Marie, was a long-awaited blessing.

“She’s a perfect little girl,” Carter said. “We’re very, very blessed.”

But on May 31, the family got another blessing they never saw coming.

“I was shaking,” Carter said. “My mom was laughing at me because my hands were shaking. It was really, really special.”

After attending a family wedding in Italy, Carter, her husband, daughter and several other family members spent four days in Rome. On May 31, the group got front -row spots at the Vatican for the Pope’s General Audience. Carter says her tour guide told her to hold up her daughter because every once in a while, the pontiff picks babies out of the crowd to bless.

“It felt so impossible at the time, the crowds and crowds of people,” Carter said. “We’re in a good spot, but even then, you’re like, ‘What are the chances?’”

However, Carter says when Pope Francis turned the corner in front of them, one of his security detail made a beeline straight towards her and Frankie Marie.

“I was like ‘He’s coming right for her!’” Carter said. “So I was just holding her, and he took her, and the whole time I’m saying to my husband, ‘He took her! He took her!’ And the whole time you’re trying to focus and get the video but still get to see it in person and not be looking at it through a lens. It was great.”

It’s a moment millions of Catholic families like Carter’s dream of from a man she calls a symbol of hope to people of all faiths in the modern turbulent world.

“You never imagine you’re going to see a someone that like in person, let alone have an experience like that for your daughter,” Carter said. “This is a story she’ll carry with her forever.”