On June 11 my husband and I were in Rome and had the the awesome privilege of attending the Papal Audience that morning. And there is a story. Of course there is a story. And it begins the day before when we arrived in Rome. Our letter for the tickets gave us directions to the North American College where we were to pick up said tickets. After much effort to find the college, we had the tickets in hand and a young sister from South Bend, Indiana gave us all the particulars for the event.
Our hotel was a ten minute walk to the gates of St. Peter Square and we set off at 6:15 a.m. or so to arrive early to get good seats. You see, a ticket gets you in but it is not a reserved seat. And I wanted good seats.
Alas, we misunderstood the directions and it took us an hour to get where we needed to go. We considered it our morning cardio.
We waited with all the other throngs of people, went through security, and found pretty good seats near an aisle. At this point no one had asked to see our tickets. Se we are sitting, waiting and it is hot. As in Rome was having a heat wave hot, 90 degrees hot and the sun is shining ever so brightly and people fan themselves with whatever they have handy. In this case, tickets; cream colored tickets all around me. Wait, why are we the only ones who have red tickets? John says maybe those are tickets from America. Possible, but no there’s a group of college students from PA waving cream colored tickets.
I get up, show a Swiss Guard my tickets and he says, “go up there”, pointing to the top of the steps. I get my husband and we go up the steps after showing our tickets to security.
It was an experience I will not forget. Seeing Pope Francis ride through the square, waving, kissing babies, hearing the crowd cry out “Papa Francesco” and then listening to him speak was a blessing.
After he speaks in Italian, different priests from various language groups give a brief summary of what he said. Then we received his blessing and this blessing was not only for us but for our families and loved ones and in a special way for the young, old and ill.
Here is his talk that day or you can watch a video: