For my roommate Scott Crevier and I Wednesday, May 29 was the big day that we were most looking forward to. Sure we had toured the Vatican and had a moving experience on the Scavi tour where we had the chance to venerate the relics of St Peter, but Wednesday was the day that we had the privilege to go to a General audience with the successor of Peter and see, pray with, and pray for him and the church. We got up early and headed to St Peter’s Square. Braved the rain and the charging nuns and old ladies who tried to edge their way closer to the railings, and we had stood out in the square for over two hours waiting among a crowd of well over 80,000+ for him to make his way. Though we were tired and wet and then extremely warm, it was all worth it to see the Pope come out in the square.
The atmosphere was absolutely jolted with the feeling of the Spirit moving in our hearts and the hearts of all present. To see him, pray with him, and receive not only a blessing upon us and whatever religious objects we brought, but also a blessing extended to our families at home was absolutely remarkable. It is an experience I will keep with me all my life. The holiness that we encountered on this trip – not only in the humble leader of the church worldwide, but in each other on the trip and in the abbots and priors that welcomed us into their communities, was moving.
Coming away from this trip, many of us have learned much about the history of the Order, and much more about each other. The challenge for us all now is to both keep that spirit alive as well as to help spread that spirit on our campus. Than you to all who have been following us on our pilgrimage, and please stay tuned for more material. I, and many others from the group will be sharing our pictures, videos, and memories with you in the time to come, but for now, here are some images and video from the audience. Enjoy!
And a small part of the Pope’s message.