Their devotion to him was in full display on Wednesday. Nearly six weeks after his election as Pope, more than 70,000 people filed in noisily to the Square for the general audience.
One of the unsuspecting tourists describes it best:
"Crazy! Just constantly bumping into everybody but its a very lively experience it makes it more fun.”
It has become a springtime ritual now, ever since the Pope's election, every Sunday and Wednesday roads are blocked off as police offers guide people into the Square.
For the last Regina Coeli, officers eventually had to close off the roads leading to the Square, so accommodate an overflowing crowd.
"Its wonderful to see so many peopleunited under one flag so to speak the flag of faith.”
But even as the pilgrims come from different countries across the world, and speak different languages, there is one constant. Since taking office, Pope Francis has continually reached out to youth, calling on them to carry on the faith.
Young people have responded in droves, packing his public events with the faces of the next generation of Catholics.
"To me, it means that Faith still exists. Because you learn about Faith from your grandparents, but if it continues among young people, it means that the Faith will endure, and that love towards God will continue.”
"I love the way his attention was to the students, the children, because they are the future. We're teachers and principals so that message certainly spoke to us.”
Pope Francis will have the chance to continue to push and cement his legacy on youth later this year. His first trip as Pope, not coincidentally, is to World Youth Day in Brazil.
Before his election, organizers estimated about two million people to attend. But with Pope Francis to lead them, they acknowledge, that number may very well fall very short.RCarrRR--PR-