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00Sunday, November 27, 2005 3:23 AM
This thread is for anyone who is lucky enough, showered with blessings enough to attend an audience, angelus, Mass, ceremony, or any other function where Papa is present so they can tell the rest of us, still waiting for blessings to fall from the sky, exactly what happened--breath by breath, moment by moment, step by step, in living color and exquisite detail. We hear rumors that possibly two of our members will be heading to Rome in the spring. There may be others going soon as well. As members of this forum, YOU MUST TELL US EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS. We'll accept photos as well, even blurry ones.
00Sunday, November 27, 2005 8:12 PM
Josephine on Joseph
Beatrice posted this morning in the French section her translation of a "memoir" written in May by Josephine, whom we all remember from her poetic account of her and Paparatzifan's close encounter with B16 at the general audience last November 9, with those unforgettable pictures, as well. The May memoir is more impressionistic - poetic and passionate - rather than journalistic, and is all the more moving. It describes her personal reactions at each of 5 episodes during which she had seen Benedict earlier: the first one on Good Friday this year, the next on Easter Sunday, then during JP-II's funeral Mass; then,on April 19; and his inaugural Mass on April 24.

I hope to post the English translation soon.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 28/11/2005 18.54]

00Monday, November 28, 2005 7:26 PM

Josephine (left) - dark hair, brown jacket, beatific smile -
with Paparatzifan (in yellow cap) during their close encounter with the Pope on Nov. 9

The silky rustle of his black cassock, moving with the cardinal’s stately walk, almost seems to echo in the airy arcade of the silent cloister.

The scarlet cap slightly off to one side stands out atop luxuriant white smooth hair.

From the shadows of a wide face, with robust and gently austere features, one sees the eyes – two pools, at once lively and attentive.

Interlaced hands close to the chest, barely touching a silver pectoral cross, allow a glimpse of the ring of office.

Elegant and erect in posture, only the gentle hunch at the shoulders betrays his age.

The broad band of red silk above the waist drapes gently down one side, its fringe swinging gently to the rhythm of his step.

“Your Eminence…”

In a warm soft voice, made even more persuasive by its tone of calm confidence, the fascinating cardinal replies with cordial courtesy.

I feel enwrapped and comforted by this unexpected gentleness on this evening of Good Friday.


Easter morning – a veiled sun lights the great square.

The Holy Father did not celebrate this Mass. He will never do so again.

I recognize the Cardinal, draped in a pale gold chasuble, seated with his fellow cardinals at the top of the Piazza.
His eyes seem lost in dreams and reflect the greyness of the clouds.

The Mass today was very saddening. The blessing that ended it was harrowing.


On the sad day of these saddest of all liturgies, there emerges from the Basilica a hierarchy of concelebrants: two long lines, red chasubles bizarrely flapping in the wind, dispose themselves along both sides of the altar, moving like dancers in a magnificent choreography.

And at the end of this long procession,the Dean of Cardinals makes his appearance. I am happy to see him again.

He takes his seat, unmoving, hands resting on his knees. He has a severe look, imperturbable, absorbed, almost remote, but watchful and scrutinizing. The thin lips are pressed together, almost in a grimace.

But it is in moments like these that the beauty of his face appears sublime – so intense and irresistible, subjugating and disarming.

Now he rises and starts to deliver his impeccable homily: the evocative accent, in a somewhat awkward slowed-down rhythm, shades into unexpected comforting tenderness.

He stresses some passages with gestures of his right hand, while the wind miraculously turns the pages of the Gospel resting atop the cypress coffin. As if it had been carefully scripted.

Every once in a while, his clear irises look straight ahead over the endless crowds that are in front of him.

Thunderous applause and impassioned cries interrupt him repeatedly. He blinks his delicate eyelashes as he respectfully waits till he can proceed.

Time and again, during the Mass, he puts on then takes off his eyeglasses, allowing us to see those beautiful eyes, which, widening, seem to merge with the blue of the sky, as, with intense veneration, he lifts the Host and holds it high.

Black sleeves show beneath the white amice, a wrist watch is visible. He murmurs the evocative monochord Latin verses in Bavarian-tinged accents.

Shock of hair ruffled by the wind, he finally executes the privilege of incensing the coffin of his great friend.

And the playful wind finally closes the book.

Following the days of anguish and mourning, the big bells, which had been mute and still after their last inexorable tolling two weeks earlier, now once again let loose with the full force of their bronze solemnity to announce news of great joy.

The minutes seem interminable. I am assailed by intense emotion which grips my whole being. My heart accelerates like mad, I feel I am out of breath, that my heart will burst till it comes out through my ears, in a cascade of iridescent corpuscles.

Habemus Papam! And the incisive sound of his beautiful first name, with its German consonants, projects through the air… My God - it is him, it is him! It is really him!

I wanted it, I knew it, I felt it!

Lord, I thank you!

A satisfaction that was at first incredulous, perplexed and suspicious, became an immense joy, visceral, exaggerated, transporting me, and now it breaks free, overflows, as I thank God fervently for what He has allowed us to receive.

I have followed him, I have admired him, I have loved him, I have desired this…

I had prayed with all my being that the choice would fall on him, the candidate of my heart, whom I wanted to win the prize.

He will be called Benedict, a beautiful name rich with promise and joy! I had also imagined that name for him.

And there before my eyes, finally, the most awaited confirmation - There he was! Finally, the chosen one, the favorite, who faced us from that grandiose Loggia suspended betweeh earth and sky!

I barely recognized him.
He had an unfamiliar look, an unusual smile, somewhat disoriented but alert.

His hands were no longer those of a cardinal, but they had not yet learned to be those of a Pope. They moved in front of an altered face, which wore an uncertain look that I had not seen before.

He tries to raise those hands, palms upward to the sky, almost as if he were asking for acclaim. Then he turns the palms down, as though to negate the first gesture, and repeats the sequence.

His arms open wide, ecumenical, and then he brings them close to him as in an embrace, again and yet again.

Even his voice sounds different to me, in his brief but emotional address.

On his shoulders he is wearing the same stole worn by his predecessors, from whom he remembers and takes on their gentleness and strength.

And now he too carries on his shoulders the same weight that they bore.

Now he finds himself in their place.

He imprints the air with three small Signs of the Cross: In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritui Sancti.

Thus did this simple laborer in the vineyard of the Lord present himself to the world that late afternoon of a day in April.

He had just become the First Pontiff of the Third Millenium.


Surrounded by the festive embrace of the crowd, almost apprehensive but in decisive manner, he advances slowly, hieratic like an icon, wrapped in the solemnity of his splendid ceremonial robes. Archaic music accompanies him.

(After he has received the Fisherman’s Ring), his proudly austere face gradually transforms: the severity loosens up, finally turning into a long and enchanting smile that we have not seen before.

He raises his right arm, the hand open and firm as it acknowledges the crowd’s acclaim, perhaps surprised at their affection, and we see his long pianist’s fingers, recently adorned with the jewel of his office.

He looks happy.

Afterwards, there are repeated scenes of countless hands reaching out to him, imploring him, touching him, applauding him.

Image piles upon image, emotions crowd upon each other and shade off into new emotions. My perceptions are almost tactile, when I see those diaphanous eyes condense into intensely azure sparks.

I am overcome by a vague instinctive need for physical contact, at once delicate and sensual, as disconcerting as it is insistent, to welcome him totally.

I am assailed by a consuming desire to embrace him, to say something to him.

And now, his back is turned to me, (and I watch) his miter bobbing as he inclines to acknowledge the cheers. Majestic and stupendous, he dispenses a loving smile to all.

He seems shy still, as he heads off now towards his wondrous and terrible destiny.

“To you, Benedict, Bishop of Rome, glory, peace and long life!”

From the depths of my heart, I thank you, Joseph.

And most of all, I thank you, Lord.

Sister Josephine
Ordine Benedittino delle Suore delle Sante Coccole
al Romano Pontefice

Trieste, May 2005

Dearest ones:
This is the account that you asked of me. I hope it pleases you and that, in some way, you can identify with it. I dedicate this from the bottom of my heart to him who inspired it. I await your comments.
00Monday, November 28, 2005 9:20 PM
I have no idea how to express how I feel - the wind closing the book, the way his eyelids flickered, the whole darn kiboodle. She says it all. There's nothing left to say (which for an 'Eng Lit' person like myself is some admission....).

"His hands were no longer those of a cardinal, but they had not yet learned to be those of a Pope. They moved in front of an altered face, which wore an uncertain look that I had not seen before".

That is so, so true, and amazing how Josephine could have put it all so accurately into words, and Teresa translate....

[SM=x40790] [SM=x40790] [SM=x40790] [SM=x40790]

00Tuesday, November 29, 2005 10:16 PM
It's very moving and beautifull.
00Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:13 PM
Grazie mille, Josephine.

Thank you for sharing with us your beautiful feelings about Benedict and the details of your encounters with him. You have been very fortunate to see him on so many occasions. The rest of us envy you beyond words. It takes great courage to lay out your most personal feelings for others to see and react to. I applaud your bravery and I thank you for letting us share the wonderful moments of your experiences. It is very encouraging and heartwarming to see a young woman with such great love and appreciation for our pope when so many people around the world vilify him and all that he represents and when so many young women, in particular, no longer seem to have any interest in the faith. I hope our dear pope continues to be an inspiration to your belief and a source of great joy for you. Thank you again for making his presence so real to those of us far from Rome.
00Wednesday, November 30, 2005 7:52 PM
If you haven't already seen it, check out Benodette's truly special report on her close encounter with the Pope at last Saturday's Vespers service ("Seeing Benedict in Person" at the RFC Forum). Her account and the accompanying photos have a thrillingly awesome immediacy.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 30/11/2005 20.02]

00Thursday, December 1, 2005 11:05 PM
what a wonderful,beautiful story/account of Josephine! my eye [SM=g27836] s are swelling with tears of choy!
00Thursday, December 1, 2005 11:55 PM
Paparaxvi (Monica) from the main forum above, was at yesterday's general audience and promises her account as soon as she has slept off her tiredness (she does not live in Rome). Meanwhile, here is one photo she took of Papa Bello yesterday -
00Friday, December 2, 2005 2:15 AM

Great photo! Makes you feel like you are right there in the piazza--about to get run over by the popemobile. Papa really looks terrific, especially in his Super-Pope cape. Actually, if that cape were black, it could be a Zorro cape. Very swashbuckling.
00Friday, December 2, 2005 6:38 AM

Uh, Teresa, that beautiful photo just vanished.

Never mind. It's back. Kind of scary when that happens.

[Modificato da benefan 02/12/2005 6.40]

00Friday, December 2, 2005 7:22 AM
(sniff) Just read Josephine's memoirs... sooooo moving... so incredibly beautiful!!! I feel all warm and fuzzy... and oh so lucky!!!
00Friday, December 2, 2005 10:47 PM
Here is my translation of Paparaxvi's account.
Simona and I arrived in Rome around 2 p.m. on November 28. Tired and all worked up, we took a bus to St. Peter’s Square, where we were awed by the impressive dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. But first, we had to look for our hotel. They had assured us on the telephone that it was “quite near the Vatican walls” – but I had no idea how big an area that might be!

We asked a nun who kindly took us to a bus stop and told us how to get to via Aurelia. When she left us, we asked an old man who was also at the bus stop, not because we didn’t trust the nun but because we were truly cataleptic by now – both of us together did not add to a single sensible entity at this point -and we wondered if we had explained ourselves well enough to the nun. ..Well, it was well we asked another person. She must have understood we wanted to go to via Aurelia Antica, which would have brought us far afield from where we needed to go!

The old man told us the right bus to take to our destination, assuring us we would get there correctly. But after waiting 15 minutes for this other bus, we were overtaken by nervousness and decided to proceed to via Aurelia,218, on foot! We would otherwise never have reached it.

We arrived at the hotel more distraught than ever, sweating like 2 camels. Once we reached our room, the mirror confirmed it – we both looked like zombies! I had deep eyebags in a face that was pale as marble. But we could not lose heart! St. Peter’s awaited us – it was impossible to think even of “losing time” by snatching 40 winks. We showered, ate a sandwich and went right back to the Piazza.

Needless to say, even the following day, we did nothing but just wander in and around the Vatican area…It was a strong compulsion, I could not seem to bring myself to go elsewhere – and the strange thing was that even my companion felt the same…

On Tuesday afternoon, I went to a florist’s shop, to buy a white rose that I had decided to hand to the Pope the next day. When the shopgirl learned what I intended it for, she said, “A secretary of the Pope often comes here to order flowers for him, and it seems unlike Papa Wojtyla who preferred light colors like white and yellow, Papa Ratzinger prefers brightly colored flowers.” So I decided to buy a dark pink rose, which I kept in a bottle of natural water overnight.

On Wednesday morning, an alarm clock set for 5 a.m. was really superfluous. Anticipation had kept me from sleeping at all! We left the hotel under a torrential rain which had been falling on the city since the night before, and it showed no sign of abating, not even for a minute. Under a single umbrella, we arrived at St. Peter’s around 6:40.

Only one person was there ahead of us – a lady who had headphones on and was dancing to whatever music she was listening to. She asked us if we were there fore the audience, and when I told her that we would try to get to the first row on the left, she asked why. “Because I know the Pope passes twice by there,” I explained.

“Really? Who told you – the Pope?”

I thought she must take us for fools, so I answered drily that obviously, I was informed by people who had been at an audience before. And then I realized that I was talking to a person who was not “all there”!

It was torment waiting under the rain. Eventually, when groups of people started ariving, Simo and I started to worry- would we get the front seats we wanted, tired and worn down as we were, not to mention that the pavement was now flooded and we were not properly shod??? Well, we did get to the first row, but on the right! But…we must not complain.

Personally I was more than happy as it was! I made sure to position myself at the corner where I would be able to enjoy both his passage through our row, as well as when (the Popemobille) turned left. And so it turned out…

Ten minutes before Papa Ratzi was scheduled to appear, the rain stopped miraculously! So, down with the umbrellas, and a few minutes later, people started to scream. I turned toward the left… And finally an apparition that I will never ever forget!

The Popemobile approaches us, he is beautiful as the sun, with the red cape over his shoulders and that sweet smile that lights up a face that looked fresh as arose! When he was in front of me, I shouted “I love you!” (Ti voglio bene!). He looked at me, arched an eyebrow and, still smiling, said “Grazie!” I couldn’t hear it, but the lip movement was unequivocal!

I turned to Simona, and seeing her moved herself, my joy reached exorbitant levels. She was snapping photos at full speed, as we watched the Popemobile turn towards the front of the Piazza, and would be passing me once more on the left.

I had the rose balanced on the barrier at the corner (I had tried to hand it to the Pope when he passed the first time, but one of the security men shouted “Later, later!”). The Pope looked at the rose, then raised his glance to look at me and our eyes met once again: I felt a turmoil within me, my emotions built up until they exploded in PURE JOY.

We received his blessing, crossing ourselves with trembling hands, as we followed his every movement, his every expression, transfixed by that gentle face, those intense and incredible eyes which seemed to have pierced through to my soul.

(Later) When he got back into the Popemobile, I felt my heart plunge into my belly, (as) the vehicle came down the slope in our direction, his hand raised to greet everyone….And then once again, his eyes looked directly at me. I reached out to hand him the rose, he looks at it, and then the vehicle is moving past us along the front row, and Giorgio turns to a security man who is near us, saying “The rose!”

The guard does not seem to understand, and Giorgio cries out again, “The rose!”, sounding almost impatient. The guard immediately takes it from my hand and hands it to Giorgio, who lays it down and smiles at us, saluting with his hand.

The Popemobile is passing very close to the barrier in front of the first row on the left. Ratzi is touching the hands of as many people as he can, but it does not concern me any more:
I feel so happy, for me it was already a miracle just to be there, and no regrets even shadowed the antechambers of my brain!

When he takes a boy in his arms and kisses him, I shout with joy and clap so hard my palms hurt: It is a stupendous image – his face is so radiant!...

And that was my experience. I know that my account is somewhat thrown together helter-skelter. Maybe I have not succeeded in getting you involved as much as I could, and I hope you will excuse me for that – I still feel very moved and confused, but I did not want to make you wait longer.

And now, my only thought is to return to Rome as soon as I can –I can’t think of anything else!

00Friday, December 2, 2005 10:55 PM
Miraculously, Ratzigirl found a picture of Paparaxvi's (Monica) rose from the hundreds of photos taken during that audience. It's a lovely image.

I tried to insert this into the text above, but by the time I finished my translation and posted it, the system had logged me out automatically, and so I became my alter ego who is "Non registrato" (which means I cannot edit my own post)!
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 2:30 AM
ooooooooh... that was beautiful... the account as well as the photo... sniff... and Georg made sure the rose was not left behind!
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 3:15 AM
Paparaxvi, I am so glad you had your personal moments with Papa and were able to give him that rose. Your story is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. I hope you get to see Papa again very soon. I hope the rest of us get to see Papa very soon too.
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 6:38 AM
thanks Monica and Simone! what an amazing story..to be able to be so close to Papa that way and giving him the rose!!! matching his beauty inside and out!
thanks to Giorgio too for being so considerate and sweet! [SM=x40804] [SM=x40804]
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 5:06 PM
I touched Papa Benedetto! September 28th 2005

It's taken me a long time to decide - but I do want to share this moment with my friends.So many photos on the forum make me cry, especially those taken by yourselves or showing you with our beloved Papa. But you understand that this photo makes me cry the most.I love him and I thank him for everything he has done for me this year. Of course, I have prayed and said "Thank you" to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, for answering my prayers in this special way. [SM=x40790]


Dearest Friends - Of course I want to share this with you, so here goes!
Our tickets for the General Audience on September 28th had been collected the day before by Leila, our tour guide. [See scan of my ticket on the photo thread]. Leila said she would give us the tickets when she met us outside Saint Peter's Square. We were staying in the Borgo Pio, at the top of which, immediately opposite, are the columns that mark Saint Anne's Gate. Our breakfast was late, in my opinion, for we were not able to set out until about half past eight. We got Giovanna into the wheelchair and then Sabine, Sarah, Keith and myself set out; I was pushing the wheelchair and the others were re-assuring Giovanna at the sides - she was always afraid of falling out. The cobbled street and footpath up the Borgo Pio is not the best surface for a wheelchair. It seemed to me that it took a very long time for us to reach the top of the road. Then I saw the queue. It was almost to Saint Anne's Gate already - it was about 8.45 by then. Leila was waiting for us with some more from our group. We moved very slowly forward. I was hardly breathing even at that stage, hardly daring to hope that I was, at last , going to see my beloved Papa. We had been in Rome for nearly a week and I had only seen him on the big television screen, giving his Sunday Angelus blessing from Castel Gandolfo. As we approached the colonnade an official came up to us and said that one carer was allowed through with the wheelchair. My dear friends all looked at me and said "Mary". They knew how much this occasion meant to me. So it was that I walked on, past all the waiting people and I think we had to put our bags through a metal detector - I can't honestly remember, as I was in such a state by then. Someone helped me get the wheelchair down the little step into the square - I think it was the seminarian I spoke to a minute later. He had walked ahead of us. I thought he was a priest. I remember asking him to pray for Nan, who had started her RCIA course and he was very sweet, even repeating her name as if he were going to store it in his memory.
He told me to go right on down the centre aisle to the front. There, another man, directed me to the second row of the disabled section. There was one chair by each wheelchair space. This man spoke only Italian really, though he tried a little English. He was very smartly dressed in a grey suit and had several silver chains with medals. I did manage to ask someone behind me who he was - they said he belonged to the Order of Knights of Malta. He was in charge of the seating.
So...here we were. The sun was already hot; the sky cloudless. I was wearing my sunhat, but later noticed that the back of my neck had been burnt. I took a photo of Giovanna - to do this I had to go on to the steps. We were very close indeed to the area where Papa would sit, yet still it seemed far away.
The group of disabled pilgrims behind us were Polish. One of them gave me a badge, with a picture of John Paul, the name of their pilgrimage group and the date - that was a unique souvenir.
So, we had to wait about an hour. I don't know what went through my mind. I took several photos of the crowds behind us. I thought of what Sabine had said, when I told her I wanted to say something to Papa. I said I wanted to say "Ich liebe Dich", but she said I must not say that! I could say "Ich ehrhere Sie", which means something like "I honour you". I kept going over in my mind what I could say........
Finally, at about 9.50 we heard the helicopter. I turned and watched it approach and fly fairly low from the south, over the north of the square and then disappear behind the Apostolic Palace. My camera had switched itself off and, in my frenzy, I didn't get a photo of the helicopter. Can you imagine the next few minutes? I really don't remember a thing. I didn't know where Papa would appear from or when...........
Almost exactly at 10 am I looked to my left. "There he is!" I said and began taking a photo as the white jeep came out of the Bell Gate [I think it's called that]. The first thing I noticed about Papa was that his cassock is not bright white- it's more an ivory colour. He was standing and he turned to face the front. The jeep turned and drove along in front of the first row of seating. The crowds were now shouting madly, waving. I think I was just silent, taking what photos I could. Papa was driven away from me, but I kept my eyes on where I knew he was and I could see his white hair nearly all the time. He was taken right to the back and down again on the north side of the square, then up the slope to the place, under the canopy, where his chair was waiting for him.
First, we had the singers - I don't know what it is they sing each week. They were right in front of where Giovanna and I were sitting. But I did not look at them - I kept my eyes fixed on Papa. He was a long, long way from me - even though I was in the second row.
Then we had his Catechesis, and his blessing. I just remember hardly believing I was there. I held up the rosary I had bought, to be blessed. It's in a round tin with his picture on the lid. Then he met all those archbishops - I couldn't see any of that, as we were too far to the left. He seemed to take a very long time indeed greeting these people.
While this was happening, we were moved - we were placed in a single line along the front row of ordinary seating and the line went on round in front of the building on the left of the square. I now knew that I was going to be very close to Papa.

Then.......quite quickly the jeep was there again and he was coming down the slope. But I thought he was going to take the long way round and wasn't prepared..........suddenly, I saw him at the end of our row - he was bending, extending his left hand towards us....soon, my turn would come. I took a photo. Then I put my camera away and took off my sunhat. He was very near now. Papa, you have to let me touch you, I felt I was saying. I couldn't hear a thing, but I knew that everyone was shouting, screaming, clapping, calling "Benedetto". Again - I repeat - I seemed to be in a world of silence.
Then he was in front of me. I was stretching my arm towards him, almost beseeching him. I looked right into his eyes, feeling sure that he would show recognition: I know him so well, but he doesn't know me. He looked right at me; no recognition of course. But those eyes - I'll remember for ever. They are brown in the centre, green merging into grey towards the edges and so, so very expressive. They are like the eyes of no one else I have ever seen; they dimmed everything else in sight - his whole face, his hair, his whole being was just radiant. I saw nothing and no one else. I know that Georg was in the car; my photos show him. But I didn't see him. Papa took my right hand and then I placed it over his hand, his left hand, wanting to leave it there. As he began to move away, I looked at the back of his hand. It was smooth and beautiful. As I did so, I looked up at him. I wanted him still to be looking at me, but, of course he was not. By now he was looking over us, at the people behind us. Then he had really moved on, was bending to take the hands of other pilgrims. I was left in a daze.
I turned to the ladies behind me. We had all been given signed photos of Papa and I remember these two ladies begged to be given one - the kindly Knight of Malta relented and gave them one each. So I knew they loved Papa too. I smiled at them and sighed "Che bellissimo Papa!" I said - they were Italian. Somehow we spoke mostly in sign language - I put my hand on my heart to show them how I felt and they did the same. We even agreed to meet again there - goodness knows how, since my Italian is very limited.
It was over. We were asked to move and one of the barriers was opened so that we could move back through the square. Papa was still greeting those who were lined up along the wall, but I had to leave him now. I pushed Giovanna across the square, somehow getting through the crowds and the newly weds, having their photos taken. Giovanna didn't stop talking; I was silent. I pushed her back to the Borgo Pio, to the hotel........out of the sun and away from the light that is Papa Benedetto.
Bis naechstes Mal, Papa! I hadn't said a thing to you, after all. I think the noise around was too great, though I was unaware of it, but I doubt if I could have uttered a word anyway.
I'll write here what I could not say: "Ich liebe Dich, Papa!"
There are tears in my eyes as I write this, dear friends who love him too. I am so pleased I shared this with you, even if it is now nearly two months since it all happened. Two months tomorrow!
Un saluto e un abbraccio a tutti voi!
Mary x
December 3rd - now two months and one week ago.

[Modificato da maryjos 03/12/2005 17.14]

[Modificato da maryjos 03/12/2005 17.18]

[Modificato da maryjos 03/12/2005 17.23]

[Modificato da maryjos 03/12/2005 17.30]

00Saturday, December 3, 2005 5:24 PM
Mary, what a moment!!! That is you in the blue short-sleeved blouse and short brown hair!!! How absolutely terrific that you got to hold his hand! Thanks so much for reposting the story and for letting us see that wonderful photo. You should blow that photo up to life size and post it on the wall of your living room. I am so happy for you.
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 5:38 PM
You know why I did it!
Dear benefan,
You know why I finally decided, don't you! And for friends who didn't read it elsewhere - that's my true story of when I saw Papa Benedetto. I love all the accounts by people who've seen him recently and all reflect how each person felt.
It's taken me all afternoon to get the size of the file right! I made it too small at first - now it's still rather too large, but you can see more detail.
Yes, that's me, looking completely out of it, in the blue top [dark brown hair and glasses]. One friend I sent it to said I looked as if I was either about to go into orbit or pass out cold! Next time I've promised to take Pooh Bear with me.
Un abbraccio a tutti le amice! Mary x [SM=g27817] [SM=g27811]
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 6:16 PM
Thanks Mary. Really moving account. Reminds me of my own feelings when I saw Him. Lucky, lucky you - touching HIS hand. WOW [SM=x40791]
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 6:38 PM

Yvonne, you said that you saw Papa too???? Do you think you could tell us about that experience (leaving out absolutely no details)? These personal encounters are so moving, especially to those of us who are landlocked in our daily lives and totally unable to get to Rome. Come on, Yvonne, please.
00Saturday, December 3, 2005 7:09 PM
Dearest MaryJos/MaryBenedict...I am SOOOO happy for you and very thankful that you finally posted THE picture...I reiterate my suggestion - if you have not already done so, send a copy of the picture to the Vatican with a letter to the Holy Father and a request for him to sign it. I think it won't be in vain- at the very least, you might be sent a signed picture, one of those they keep in stock for such requests. But the overall thoughtfulness of the Papal household - cf. Giorgio making sure Monica's rose was received by the guard, and all the stories we've read about letters answered by the Vatican - leads me to believe you might just get what you ask for.

And dearest Yvonne - I add my plea to benefan's (and to all the others in the forum, I bet) for you to tell us your own story about seeing Papa up close.
00Sunday, December 4, 2005 4:40 PM
Sorry, I cannot. I haven't got the talent to do so. I posted three photos on the RFC with a couple of sentencesa a month ago. Writting a longer account seems beyond my ability. [SM=g27813]
00Sunday, December 4, 2005 6:48 PM

Grazie infinite per la traduzione!!
00Sunday, December 4, 2005 7:34 PM
Yvonne, yes, I remember. Your post at the RFC was great [SM=g27811]! I do understand how you feel, but please don’t believe you haven’t got the “ability” [SM=x40795] . The main thing is that we understand each other and can share our love and devotion for our Papa. It doesn’t matter whether our love is “grammatically correct” or if it’s not expressed like a Shakespearean sonnet!!
[SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791]
00Sunday, December 4, 2005 9:10 PM
Although I have been reading this thread all along, I just took the time to read it again from page 1... wow!!! Thanks everyone for sharing such personal... heart warming details... I only hope that when it's my turn to share that I can put it all into words...!!! [SM=x40800] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799]
00Monday, December 5, 2005 10:04 AM
thanks Mary for finally sharing that pic!!!
who took that pic? thanks to whoever captured that moment..i know how personal this pic is for you and so thanks again for letting us see your pic with Papa..to be able to touch his hand,it mustve been close to heaven! [SM=x40790]

again,couldnt thnak u enough!!
and yes, send thaty pic so Papa could sign it for you!

God Bless!
00Monday, December 5, 2005 11:39 PM
Thanks to you all.....
Thank you to everyone who wrote their appreciation of my true story and of the fact that I, finally, posted my special, special photo. I realised that I DID want to share my photo and experiences; after all, the other people who saw Papa recently shared theirs. That's what friends are for.
What a good idea - sending one copy to Papa. I did buy two copies of THE photo! It would be worth taking a chance on getting him to sign it personally. I don't know who took these official photos; someone from one of the agencies. I was given several business cards at the beginning of the audience and didn't realise that they were from the various official photographers. In the end,I saw the photos outside a shop at the top of the Borgo Pio - there were thousands of small pics from the audience and they were there within a couple of hours of the end of the audience. I was so blown away by the whole thing that I don't know the name of the shop. It could have been the same one which the Italian girls visited - I don't know.
Here's to the next time! [SM=x40802]w [SM=x40802]w
Un saluto e un abbraccio a tutti voi....
Un abbraccio a Papa..... [SM=x40800]
Mary [SM=g27811]
00Tuesday, December 6, 2005 12:28 PM
slightly boring account with no interesting bits
Dear Friends,
As you have pressed me to write an account - here it is. First just short explanation - when JP II died I wanted to go to the funeral but my Mum was in hospital and had to stay home. I have promised myself that I would go to Rome as soon as possible. Little did I know that watching the funeral on TV I'd fall in love his successor. So the purpose of my pilgrimage was to visit the grave and see B16. My husband is an agnostic so our trip would balance between religious and tourist character. Another thing - we got married in Italy (in Loreto) and went to Rome on our honey-moon (we were hitchhiking around Northern and Central Italy - I had my wedding dress in my back-back together with the camping gear) So again visiting Rome had a special flavour for both of us.
The first thing we did in Rome on Monday morning was to get tickets for the audience. The Swiss guard gave them to us and we could go to the basilica and the grottoes. My husband just paid short respect to JP II - the national Polish hero - I stayed longer trying to pray the rosary but I was crying most of the time and losing count of Hail Mary's.
On Wednesday morning the alarm clock went on early but there was the problem with the bathroom. There was another couple staying in the guest rooms of Polish embassy's economical departments and we had a common bathroom. They got there before us and stayed really long. I was loosing my patience and my religious mood was disappearing. My ancestor's warrior blood was awaken and I was looking through my stuff trying to find any weapons of mass destruction. [SM=g27826] Finally they got out and left he bathroom. [SM=g27823]
So we were late and the tram was slow and I was worried that we wouldn't get any good seats. Wasn't so bad really. When we got to the Piazza there was quite a lot of people there but we were able to find quite good places. It was still well over one hour to the audience and only half of the Piazza was full. Next to us there was a group of Spanish elderly ladies praying on the rosary and taking pictures with their mobile phones at the same time. The atmosphere was festive - sort of big picnic. I was nervously checking my camera which nevertheless was to fail me in the last moment. [SM=g27812]
I wasn't able to pray - all I could was looking on my watch and checking the time. The Pope must have flown earlier because we didn't see or hear his helicopter. A group of children was playing football on the Piazza, later they were next to us - I knew Papa would look at them.
Then the noise of shouting and clapping hands - we suddenly saw him on the screen. "Benedetto, Benedetto" the crowd started to shout. Everybody jumped on their chairs - a bit tricky but who cares. The Spanish ladies suddenly were very agile and in a second they were on the chairs shouting and screaming with everybody else. I got my camera, looked through it and saw a white figure in the car - here he was smiling gracefully, blessing everybody - him, the very men I love so much. I don't really know what I was doing - shouting , crying, trying to take pictures. And his smile - oh..., the description passes the reality. He didn't really look at me - but I wasn't disappointed. It was passing my expectations anyway - just being here and seeing Him was enough. [SM=g27836]
When the audience started I wasn't able to concentrate. With my little knowledge of Italian and some I am usually able to follow some basic things but not here. When he spoke in Polish we all ( there was lots of Polish groups) jumped up like on a football match (sorry for this comparison but it was my husband's expression and he is a great football fan).
After the audience some people stayed on the Piazza and suddenly we heard the noise of the helicopter - here was our beloved Papa leaving. People started to shout and wave - could he see us? Doesn't matter.
Next day we wanted to go and look at the pictures but we started with some sight seeing and my bag was stolen. As I mentioned on RFC there was my diary, ticket to the audience, old rosary blessed by two Popes (JP II and B16). There was also the key to our room with the address so we had to return there and explain and the thoughts of the pictures disappeared. [SM=g27813]
Anybody know how long do they keep them?
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