Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Papa Francesco

Cari fratelli e sorelle, buongiorno! (Dear brothers and sisters, Good morning!)

As the Pope’s greeting echoed around St. Peter’s Square, the crowd responded by clapping, cheering, and shouting Viva il Papa! People waved yellow and white Vatican flags, groups held up signs in their native language, and youth groups spontaneously broke into song.
Among the crowd were 23 women from Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Illinois, and Washington State who had traveled together for an all-girl’s trip to Italy. They had a packed itinerary planned – Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and the Island of Capri – and attending the Pope’s Angelus Blessing on Sunday was at the top of their list.
After months of planning there they were, not even 24 hours after landing in Rome, standing in St. Peter’s Square. As they waited they chatted, shared umbrellas when it began drizzling, and put them away again when the sun came out. They wandered around taking pictures of Bernini’s colonnade, of the Basilica’s facade, and of each other.


Precisely at noon, it began. There was no fanfare; the Pope’s window opened, a banner was unfurled, and a figure in white approached the window and welcomed his brothers and sisters from around the world.


Pope Francis. At last.


He spoke for twenty minutes. And for those twenty minutes, as his gentle voice reverberated across stone and marble, you could hear the quiet hum of pilgrims whispering, translating, crying, and praying. And although not everyone could speak Italian, the women in the group nonetheless understood because the essence of what he said transcends the spoken word.


After he gave us what we needed to hear, he blessed us and then turned things around ...

by asking us to pray for him.
A tutti voi auguro una buona domenica. E per favore, non dimenticatevi di pregare per me. Buon pranzo e arrivederci!  (To all I wish a happy Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch. Arrivederci!)


Papa Francesco




A group from Romania




Nun with an iPad ... videotaping




My favorite postcard I purchased in Rome




Basilica de S. Pietro




Smiling and Crying




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