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.
[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.
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.