Living in the Eternal City has quite a few perks, and one of those “perks” is the ability to stroll down to Vatican City on Wednesday mornings to see our Holy Father, Pope Francis (and maybe get a selfie with him)
On Wednesday September 17th the students of the JFRC could be heard stirring as early as 4 am, in preparation for the downhill walk to Vatican City. The Rome Starters waited a bit longer and began their trek at 6 am, catching a bus down the hill and walking the rest of the way through the gates of the beautiful country.
Anticipation was high and excitement was tangible as we waited for the gates to open! As the hour long wait past, the line grew longer and longer as people from all of the world gathered to see the pontiff, nuns tried to cut the Rome Start group and tourists edged toward the front, but ultimately nothing could prepare the crowd for the Olympic sprint that the JFRC students led to some of the best seats in Piazza San Pietro! (Many of the upperclassmen were front row!)
After finally getting our seats the Rome Starters settled in for the two-hour wait for the actual audience to begin. At around 10 am (don’t forget that by now we’ve been waiting with anticipation for four hours!) the introduction began! All of a sudden thousands of heads turned and cheers echoed throughout the Piazza as Pope Francis came around the corner in the “Popemobile,” for the next twenty minutes tourists from around the world strained their necks and focused their cameras to get a glimpse of our beloved Holy Father
Pope Francis then proceeded to give his blessing and homily (later translated into English) and the entire Piazza chorused together the Our Father in Latin and held up thousands of religious articles for a blessing from Pope Francis.