Friday, October 2, 2015


My part of the world has been obsessed for the month of September with the visit of the Pope.  Many hours were spent on the local media talking about all the preparations and traffic plans. Now that it has concluded, they have continued to talk about the recovery and how it affected the region in the traffic, public transportation and local businesses. It became known as "coping with the Pope." It was good to see that people were willing to look at it with humor and interest even if they weren't Roman Catholics.  It was good also to see that nothing undesirable happened and people were safe. Many positive things occurred as a result, and there were warm, fuzzy stories that left people feeling that it was worth the complications.
We watched segments of the event on TV and we didn't even consider moving from the couch to participate. We had already had our moment of Serendipity in April 2013 shortly after Pope Francis was elected and began his Papacy.
On a Sunday morning, we were taking a tour in Rome on April 21, 2013 and stopped at the Vatican. We went into St. Peter's Square and it quickly filled because the Pope was due to speak. We could see the window in the building where the banner was hanging and where he would speak.
It was a very crowded square and people had brought many very small children because there was a celebration of youth on that day. Everyone seemed so excited and they were very well behaved as a large crowd. When the Pope entered the window, a cheer went up, then the crowd became very silent until he finished speaking. He spoke to the crowd for about 15 minutes and we recorded a movie of the event.
It was a very exciting day, and not one we had planned. We just took a tour of Rome and that was where we happened to be at the time the Pope spoke. We aren't Catholic, but it was very uplifting to see so much good will among so many people. It was an orderly, respectful, well-behaved crowd. We were very fortunate to be there at exactly the time the event occurred so it was a once in a lifetime experience. We enjoyed it even more because we had not planned it. We were just in the moment going with the flow.