A prize-winning, teenage Argentine author has given Pope Francis a copy of her latest book and a hug.

Veronica Cantero Burroni, who is in a wheelchair because of a neurological problem, had a spot in the VIP section of Francis' general audience on Wednesday. She was in Italy to receive a literary award named for the Italian writer Elsa Morante.

Veronica, who turns 14 on Friday, gave Francis a copy of her fifth book "The Shadow Thief," which she said she had dedicated to history's first Argentine pope.

After their brief meeting in St. Peter's Square, she told reporters: "I told him I loved him, that I prayed for him, and thanked him."