Monday, November 4, 2013

An audience with His Holiness

So oddly enough I had the chance to go to one of the last audiences with the Pope. How did this happen? I will tell you don't worry. Amanda (the lovely girl I was traveling with) and I noticed that during our Vatican tour there were a lot of chairs set up in front of the church itself. 

See. Tons of chairs. So we asked our sassy tour guide what the deal was and he kindly told us that Pope Francis was having his annual tourist season audiences and they would be ending after October. He also told us that tickets to get into the audience were free! F-R-E-E, as in no dollars, no euros, no pounds or even pesos. So he kindly gave us instructions on how to get two tickets and sent us on our way! After some pizza and our regular gelato fix, we made our way to the American Seminary in Rome. We weren't sure if we were going to be able to get tickets because normally you have to reserve them but the Sister that helped us was extremely nice and from Pleasanton, California. Which is not far from Santa Clara at all! Plus the priest she was working with was from England so needless to say they were more than happy to give us tickets to get in the next morning. 

So we woke up at the crack of dawn! Ok it wasn't that early more like 6:30 and got to the Vatican by 7 and the line to get into the square was extremely long. So we made friends with some Americans standing near us and waited for the doors to open. We also adopted this older woman to our make shift group. Her name was Joyce and she was from England. Unfortunately she got separated from her group and did not know what to do. She was clearly past her 70s so took her under our wing and helped her get inside safely and she found someone from her group. She was also the sweetest and cutest old lady so hopefully Joyce is sitting somewhere in England with a cup of tea! 

So the people. Lord Jesus, there were a lot of people and a lot of mean people! Like come on your in one of the holiest places in the world, having the chance to be in the same company as one of the holiest men in the world now is not the time to be a jackass. I'm sorry I know I should not curse when the post clearly says "His Holiness" in the title but there is no other accurate way to describe there people. It got to the point where I was nervous because of all the people and everyone trying to get in at the same time, I thought I might be trampled. Thankfully I was not and Amanda and I found two seats and parked it there. 

There he is! Pope Francis came out in his Pope mobile before the ceremony started. He is adorable. 

In case you can't tell by all the arrows I placed...there he is! Pope Francis himself. 

He kissed a lot of babies, took many gifts, stopped and talked to people how were terminally ill or physically impaired. After his tour around the square he settled himself under the canopy in front of the Basilica. It was very moving and amazing to be in this holy place to be blessed by such a holy figure. Even though there were many many different languages being spoken around me, everyone there understood what was going on and the importance what was happening around us. Plus I had to go I am from a Jesuit college and he is a Jesuit Pope. It was an incredible experience and I am so happy I had the opportunity to be there. When in Rome right?! Cheers!

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