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Tom & Sue’s Excellent Adventure Day 24 Papal Audience in Rome

Buona Sera:

When we got up this morning it was really dark and really raining and really early. I spent half of the night getting up thinking it was time…..I hate that, the wake up call came just as I entered a deep sleep. We dressed and Susan went down and managed to get us a double espresso with a little steamed milk and that got the heart going.

Our plan was to be at Termini station to meet our friend Marilyn at 6:30 am and go together to the Vatican. Marilyn was early and we were late because we had to go back to the room for the tickets. Once together, we made it to the Vatican, albeit with umbrellas in hand, since the rain still persisted. I was afraid that this was not going to be fun and my fears were confirmed later.

Attending the Weekly Papal Audience...a sea of umbrellas
Attending the Weekly Papal Audience…a sea of umbrellas

Seeing the Pope is always special and we sat and waited for 3 hours for that chance and as soon as he was about to get to the high altar were we were seated the rains came again and we were engulfed in a sea of umbrellas, I could hardly see Sue and she was next to me let alone trying to see the Pope, and we had good seats, not a 100 feet away.

Pope Francis speaking at the Papal Audience
Pope Francis speaking at the Papal Audience

The rain subsided for awhile and we got to watch as the Pope gave his address and it was then partially translated into other languages by different priest.  It was difficult to hear, and even more difficult to see with all the umbrellas, but the atmosphere is so exciting that none of us seemed to mind.

Pope Francis likes to get out there and greet the folks!
Pope Francis likes to get out there and greet the folks!

The Holy Father is calming and gracious as was evident after the blessing he went down to the handicapped and shook hands and blessed them. He then made his way back up and walked around greeting newlyweds, dignitaries and others that had the front row seats.

We sat in front of a priest from Pennsylvania with his mom and dad and had a great time with them. We met another priest from Milwaukee and talked to him for almost an hour. Fr Jason is in Rome to study for 2 years. We had given up our seats when the umbrella’s had come up again and went and stood behind the pope. That’s where we met Fr Jason.

I was real proud of Sue today, I was sure she was going to be upset that her seat wasn’t near the Popes and she wouldn’t get to meet him, but she gave up her quest as she saw the multitude of sick and handicapped and knew the Pope would go to them as it should be. No mountains today! It was a thrill just to be there and to get a blessing from the Holy Father and knowing it was also for all of you.  We had planned to meet Marilyn at the Pieta in the Vatican but didn’t re-open until 2 so we search her out to no avail. We would have to reschedule our lunch.

Hopping the subway back to our car.
Hopping the subway back to our car.

The crowds were very heavy and the rains came again so Susan and I went to metro and headed back for the car. We were going to find a rest nearer to our hotel and gave that up because of the weather so we went to the grocery store and pick up a couple of pizzas, which are very good after I doctor them up.

It was already a 10 hour day so even though the sun came out as we ate our pizza we decided to stay in and test the sleeper sofa and watch a movie. The sofa was comfortable and I never made the movie.

We decided to stay at this hotel until we leave and not make the long drive to Offidia and Veterbo. There are so many shrines in the area to see and I am done packing and unpacking the car. This will give us a little rest before we head home Monday and back to a crazy work week starting Tuesday.

Have a Great

God Bless
Susan and Tom

Holy Mary,
help those in need, give strength to the weak, comfort the sorrowful, pray for God’s people, assist the clergy,
>> intercede for religious.
>> Mary all who seek your help
>> experience your unfailing protection.
>> Amen.