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The Day I saw Papa Francis!

Well today we saw the Pope! We were at the front of the gate and couldn't believe how blessed we were. After we took the bus we were walking to the avenue near the beach since the bus dropped us at Ipanema. We walked for about 10 or 15 minutes and got a spot near a few women who were seated next to the gate. They let us hang out with them until the pope arrived about 90 minutes later.

As the pope crossed our path we were all screaming and shouting Papa Francis with the other 1.5 million people on the beach with us. 

It was amazing, all we wanted to do was see the pope today. We were prepared to be disappointed but once we found the place near the gate and we were in the front we knew it would be amazing. 

From the beach you can see the naval security detail they have right off the beach to protect the pope. There were many helicopters flying over and we heard on the radio that Pope Francis was circling the beach and going to land at the Copacabana Fort which was just a few blocks from us. We got really excited when we saw it land. At first we could see the pope mobile coming out of the fort then all of a sudden he was in front of us. It was like a dream. 


There's a video too! Links coming later!

After he passed by we gathered ourselves and walked toward the ceremony since we were still 3.5 km away and could only see the sea of people and many jumbo screens. A few of us had radios with the English Translation so we were able to tell the others what was happening.

Francis greeted us and then was greeted by every continent and area of brazil. 10 young people spoke on behalf of their area of the world and gave the pope a gift. They each had about a minute of time with the Holy Father where he spoke to them alone (no microphone for us to hear).

To have a minute with just the pope and I?! 

Following the ceremony part we had a Liturgy of the Word and another speech by him for a homily. He began by speaking to us about the flavor of salt. How we put it on our food to enhance the flavor and change it. He said "Put on Faith, Hope, and Love and your life with have a new flavor. Put on Christ and everything will change."  (The entire thing can be found at rio2013.com or news.va/en)

For the remainder of the evening we met many groups from around the world; a bunch from the US as well as we waited for the bus to take is home. I even saw a group from Pittsburgh!

Overall my heart is full! 

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