“Pope Francis has a truly magnetic and uplifting energy; it is truly inspiring to witness how people from all corners of the globe react to this man and what he represents!” Brittany Ricci
“Getting to participate in the papal audience this Wednesday definitely felt like a blessed experience. It was amazing to be aware of the hundreds of pilgrims that traveled from around the world and came together all in the name of God.” Nikki MullinsLast week the P.C. in Rome program went to the weekly Wednesday papal audience with Pope Francis. I contacted Bishop Tobin’s office in Providence at the beginning of the semester for help in obtaining tickets for the students and myself. The weather was supposed to be cold and rainy, but instead it was warm and sunny. The students called this the “Pope Francis effect”. The crowd numbered close to 50,000 according to the Vatican news later that day. We were thrilled to hear “Providence College” formally welcomed during the introduction when various pilgrim groups and visiting dignitaries are introduced at the beginning of the Audience. (Thanks Bishop Tobin!) Go Friars!Pope Francis has recently been using his talks at the weekly audience to offer some catechesis on the sacraments. The talk he gave to us was about the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. He urged that this sacrament be used for the sick, and not just the dying. He said that in a special way the sick are in need of the experience of the presence of Jesus with them in their illness.I asked the students to share their photos and their impressions of the experience.“Wow! Felt like I was at a NFL football game in America. I could not believe how many people were there to see the Pope speak, it was definitely a celebration. I thought his emphasis on the anointing of the sick was interesting, as people have said this Pope is very concerned with the less fortunate and suffering people of the world. It was definitely an experience I will remember forever and now am trying to plan a visit for my family to see Pope Francis when they come to Rome.” Nathan Rosadini“The papal audience was an incredible experience. The reaction that Pope Francis got from the entire crowd blew my mind. It was like a soccer game with different countries waving flags and scarves each time a prayer was read in their respective languages. I’m really glad I went and if there was one thing I take away from this is that Pope Francis really is a rockstar here.” Danny DeFilippo
“It’s pretty incredible to think that thousands of people from all around the world were gathered in one place to hear someone speak. It goes to show just how prominent Pope Francis is and how much he is respected throughout the world.” Tim Evans“While attending the Papal Audience it was a powerful site to witness the love people have for Papa Francis and the immensity of their faith. When he came out into the crowd, Papa Francis’ smile was very infectious” Sophia Bolt“My experience at the papal audience was both exhilarating, and overwhelming. Seeing the Pope for the first time that close to me is something that I will never forget. I was taken back by the amount of people that attended, and their excitement and energy was admirable. I am so blessed to be able to say I was that close to papa Francesco!” Gianna Fournier“It was an amazing experience finally being able to see Papa Francesco in person after hearing so much about him! He was smiling the entire time and waving at the crowd!” Francesca Coughlin
“Today, I attended my third papal audience of the semester and still got chills when Pope Francis passed by in his Popemobile. I witnessed a young child who was right next to me get blessed by Papa Francis and saw her parents begin to cry tears of joy. It is incredible how one individual can inspire and touch the lives of so many people.” Sarah Wacik“My reaction to seeing Papa Francis at the papal audience last Wednesday was one of complete awe. He was such an incredibly humble person when meeting everyone. Everytime I saw him bless a child and kiss their forehead on screen my heart just melted a little. I felt so blessed to have this amazing opportunity.” Catherine McLean“It was really cool to see how excited Italians get about Pope Francis, he’s like a celebrity here. There was a group of elementary school students chanting “Papa Francesco!” at the top of their lungs and it was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. It was nice to see how affectionate he was with all of the children in the audience.” Leanne FalzonGo Friars!