Before leaving Rome, our Franciscan Pilgrimage leaders arranged for our group to be part of the weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square. We woke up early and walked down the hill from our hotel to join the crowd of thousands gathered from around the world. The program itself was about an hour and half long, conducted in eight different languages to accommodate the needs of the faithful.
Pope Francis focused his meditation on the theme: “God opened the door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27), the mission of Paul and Barnabas and the Council of Jerusalem (Biblical passage: from the Acts of the Apostles, 15:7-11). His mediation can be found here.
Before the program began, Pope Francis toured through the crowd in an open vehicle that allowed him to interact with the faithful. As luck would have it, the Pope visited near our group to bless a baby. Pictured here is the official photo of the blessing (left) and my cell phone photo of the same (right). The blessing will be with the child’s family forever, as will the photos for me.