Valerie Herrera was honored when she was one of the Americans selected to speak with the Pope via satellite, but the 16-year-old Chicago native, got the surprise of her life when she began sharing the story of her struggle with an autoimmune disease.
When Pope Francis learned that Herrera loves to sing he made an unexpected request.
"May I ask you to sing a song for me?" he asked. "Be courageous."
Herrera was nervous at first, but took the Pope's advice and performed "Junto a Ti Maria (Next to You, Maria)" to the delight of the audience.
Read more inspiring stories of courage here.