Waving for the pope

Italy day 9: The day I saw the pope [YQrtw Day 35 May 12]

I have to admit something. I did not do any “homework” for my days in Rome and I rely on my mobile apps to do all my planning.

That was why I ended up in the Vatican City on a Sunday. Not a good move.

I thought that since the Vatican Museum is closed on Sundays, St Peter’s Basiilca would be free of crowds.

What I didn’t realize was that the queue into St Peter’s was short because about every other person was already inside listening to the pope’s mass.

Uh oh.

[I found out just now that today was a special day in which the pope announced new saints. No wonder there was so many people.]

The square was packed with people but there was still some standing room. I stood with the crowd, peering far ahead to try and make out which rice-sized figure was the pope.

I gave up looking for the pope and settle with the big screen broadcast instead.

Watching the pope on the big screen
Watching the pope on the big screen

During the ceremony, the pope seemed to shake a lot of clergypeople’s hands. He also read from a big book and wore a large hat.

The fancy hat was ta ken off and exchanged for a smart white cap when the pope came down from his pedestal and into the pope-mobile.

The pope waved a lot at the crowd, kissed a lot of babies and later kissed a lot of people with disabilities. I teared up a little at the last part.

The pope-mobile never came to my part of the square. The people around me chanted “Fran-cesco, Fran-cesco”, hoping Papa would hear and ask his driver to steer the pope-mobile to us.

When the pope-mobile was near, almost everyone (including me) cheered.

It was like cheering for a rock star but one with a heaven lot more fans.

Crowd cheers for the pope
Crowd cheers for the pope

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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