STAMFORD - Thousands of local residents are hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to New York City later this week, but one southwestern Connecticut couple has already met the pontiff face to face. With a little help from a friend in Rome and a bit of good luck, John Paul Marchetti and his wife Angela not only met the pope but held his hand. The meeting only lasted for about half a minute, but it's a half minute they'll remember for the rest of their lives. The Marchettis were married in 2006 and spent a portion of their honeymoon in Rome. Dressed in the traditional suit and wedding gown, the Marchettis made their way to St. Peter's Square for the pope's weekly blessings for married couples. The couple found themselves in the front row, just feet from the pontiff. ?He stood up and he started to walk over to our side ? everybody started to get excited because the pope's coming our way and we're going to meet him,? says Angela. Despite the fact that 40,000 people were in St. Peter's Square that day, the Marchettis say it was like no one else was there. This is not the first time a member of the Marchetti family has met the pope. John Paul?s brother, Frank, and his wife met Pope John Paul II in 2003. His other brother, Alex, is going to be a torch bearer during Pope Benedict's Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday. To watch extended video on the Marchettis meeting with the pope, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.News 12 CT Extended Coverage - The Pope's Visit