On May 3 while on vacation, Kate and Gerry McCann were eating at a restaurant about 100 yards away from the Praia da Luz hotel in Portugal where they had left their three young children, a four-year-old daughter, Madeleine, and her two-year-old twin siblings. When they came back to their room located in Portugal’s Algarve region, they found their oldest child missing. Madeleine has yet to be found, and her British parents have managed to gain excessive media exposure in the last three weeks to aid in the return of their daughter.

Aside from Internet and media campaigns to publicize their daughter’s disappearance throughout Europe, Portugese and British authorities have been investigating the disappearance. The family has stated that they refuse to give up the search and return home to Britain without their daughter. This story has grown popular in Britain, and its popularity will grow when the McCann’s will be presented to

Pope Benedict XVI at the end of the pontiff’s weekly general audience today in St. Peter‘s Square.

Both parents are Catholic, and last week they prayed for their daughter at the Catholic pilgrimage site in Fatima, Portugal. Traditionally, such meetings take place in front of St Peter’s Basilica when the Pope greets people in the front rows of a special section near the papal platform. They are not considered private audiences. Whether or not his blessing will help in reuniting Madeleine with her parents, it may help ease the worry and guilt that the two are probably feeling right now.

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