Before my birthday day even began your Dad headed off to the corner bakery so that we could have fresh biscotti with our morning coffee. Then it was off to Piazza St. Peter's to attend the papal audience with six thousand of our closest friends. A papal audience with Pope Francis is somewhat of a cross between mass and a pep rally. There was scripture, prayer, our father and blessing along with festive music, cheering and flag waving. Throw in the popemobile, security and the Swiss Guard, plus the four jumbotrons, and you get the idea that this is quite an event.
Pope Francis speaks and the crowd settles. His message encouraged us to be the living image of the love of God. However, probably the most poignant moment was when he went off script. In Spanish Pope Francis spoke directly to the Mexican people sharing their sorrow with regards to the 43 murdered students and calling for a dialogue of peace. Lord, let it be so.
It was definitely a birthday I will never forget. The icing on the cake, so to speak, was my birthday lunch at an outdoor cafe on Piazza Navona followed by a stroll through the neighbourhood with gelato. We are heading back to Canada tomorrow and I am somewhat embarrassed to report that I will have tried over forty different flavours of gelato--yolo (you only live once)!
You are Always in my Prayers. Love Mom.