THE BRONX - A man who suffered a vicious pit bull attack in the Bronx was among those invited to see Pope Francis in Central Park.

Francesco Bove, 62, has been recovering for weeks after an attack that left him scarred, bleeding and near death.

News 12 previously reported that it was a Catholic priest, Our Lady of Mount Carmel's Father Jonathan, who came to his aid.

Bove, who lives in Coney Island, lost an ear in the attack. It was later reattached.

The church gave Bove a ticket to attend the event. He says he hopes the pope will see him and wish him a speedy recovery, then pray for his loved ones.

"I want to meet the pope...because I have a message for him," Francesco says. "Io ti amo bene. It's 'I love you.'"

He says the chance to see the pope may not heal his body, but it will heal his soul.

The owner of the two pit bulls who mauled Francesco was arrested.