Seeing the pope. Now I can check that off my personal bucketlist! Because last week I had the chance to have an audience with Pope Francis in Rome.
I was lucky to be in Rome because of a meeting in Vatican City, which I’ll tell you more about in a second. But when I got the schedule of our trip, I saw my personal highlight: attending an audience with the pope. So I’m sharing with you what I experienced there.
Because due to spending so much time in Argentina in the last years and calling it my second home, it was a great wish of mine to see the Argentine pope in person. And yes, I made it!
THE MEETING IN ROME
Before attending the audience on Wednesday, I arrived in Rome to attend a conference on Tuesday. The conference took place with people from the Vatican to discuss topics about how to promote a sustainable future and how the Vatican and family businesses can work together to achieve ecological conversion. It was a very successful and interesting meeting, which will be continued in a few weeks.
WHAT TO SEE AT VATICAN CITY
After the meeting, we went to the Vatican Museum and of course the Sistine Chapel. This was absolutely breathtaking. They have restored the chapel about four years ago and the paintings were glowing like they were new. I couldn’t stop looking until my neck hurt. I just wanted to lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling. I was astonished by the detail and the 3D effect that Michael Angelo had accomplished with this master piece. Of course I have seen many photos but the orginal can not be compared. I even managed to take some photos without getting caught. Sassy me.
THE AUDIENCE WITH THE POPE
Wednesday has come! Wow, how excited I was. We arrived at St. Peter’s square at 8 a.m. in the morning even though the ceremony started at 10 a.m. and it was already packed. Thank god we had amazing seats reserved on the left side of where the pope held his speeches. So we had the perfect view on him.
At 9.30 a.m. the pope arrived with his car and the people were celebrating him like a rock star. People were screaming his name and he was driving around greeting everyone, kissing children and talking to the people. It was incredible how much joy was in his eyes. One could really see that he is the pope of the people. While he was greeting everyone, his cardinals were welcoming the groups of pilgrims coming from all over the world in eight different languages.
The speech of Pope Francis was held in Italian and later translated by different cardinals in German, Russian, Spanish, Portugues, Arabic, English and French. It was incredible. I had no idea that they would actually translate it into so many languages. I was impressed. The speech of the pope was about Virgin Mary, the mother of all mothers, as a preperation for mothersday. He was talking about a small town in Argentina called Lujan where the biggest basilica of pilgrimage is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. And the funny thing is that the village Estancia, where I live in Argentina, is located only 20 minutes away from this church. So you can imagine how connected I felt.
After the ceremony was over, Pope Francis walked around and greeted sick people who where attending the audience, kissed them and talked to them, and afterwards the different pilgrim groups and also the newlyweds. Yes the newlyweds. It was fantastic to see. All these young couples dressed in their wedding gowns waiting for the Papal Blessing. It was such a nice but at the same time funny image how the were all standing in a row waiting for Pope Francis.
For me, it was great to see how happy the pope makes the people and how much joy he brings to them. This was an unforgettable event which I hope I can repeat at one point again and then maybe even get that desired pope selfie 😉
For all of you who want to experience an audience with the pope: be sure to get your tickets a view months ahead. We got our like two month bevor.
Photo credit: Helena Schoeller