Our hotel was a ten minute walk to the gates of St. Peter Square and we set off at 6:15 a.m. or so to arrive early to get good seats. You see, a ticket gets you in but it is not a reserved seat. And I wanted good seats.
Alas, we misunderstood the directions and it took us an hour to get where we needed to go. We considered it our morning cardio.
We waited with all the other throngs of people, went through security, and found pretty good seats near an aisle. At this point no one had asked to see our tickets. Se we are sitting, waiting and it is hot. As in Rome was having a heat wave hot, 90 degrees hot and the sun is shining ever so brightly and people fan themselves with whatever they have handy. In this case, tickets; cream colored tickets all around me. Wait, why are we the only ones who have red tickets? John says maybe those are tickets from America. Possible, but no there's a group of college students from PA waving cream colored tickets.
I get up, show a Swiss Guard my tickets and he says, "go up there", pointing to the top of the steps. I get my husband and we go up the steps after showing our tickets to security.
It was an experience I will not forget. Seeing Pope Francis ride through the square, waving, kissing babies, hearing the crowd cry out "Papa Francesco" and then listening to him speak was a blessing.
Here is his talk that day or you can watch a video:
While I didn't get to meet Pope Francis it was still an emotional, exciting time. My only regret was not realizing what the red tickets meant from the beginning. Next time!