TWO Irish schoolchildren have made history after being personally confirmed by Pope Francis at a special ceremony at St Peter's Square.
Twelve-year-olds Emily Mulcahy, from Cobh, and Edmond Roche, from Fermoy, Co Cork, were the only Irish children among a group of youngsters from around the world who were invited by the Vatican to the special Confirmation ceremony.
Emily's mother, Margaret, spoke of her immense pride as her daughter and Edmond were anointed by Pope Francis in front of tens of thousands of worshippers yesterday.
"It was absolutely magnificent, it was a bit overwhelming to be honest," she said.
The sun shone as the children walked down the red carpet leading to the altar where the Pope blessed the children in Italian and kissed them on the cheek after anointing their foreheads with holy oil. Mrs Mulcahy, who was at her daughter's side throughout the ceremony, said it was an experience of a lifetime.
After the children were confirmed, the Pope met each child again and shook their hands, she added.
They were then taken to an auditorium for a reception and concert following the Mass.
The pair were selected randomly from a draw of altar servers in the Diocese of Cloyne, which was invited by The Vatican to send a boy and girl from the diocese to attend the special Confirmation ceremony, part of the church's Year of Faith Celebrations.
The pair from Cork were the only children from Ireland and the UK who were invited to the event.
Emily's father Paul, her sister Sophie and twin brothers Andrew and Luke also accompanied her, while Edmond travelled with his mother Bernadette and brother David.