This colorfully dressed group of volunteers made it to the Pope's General Audience from the southern Italian region of Calabria. They're a part a Catholic association known as Mercy, which has been around for over eight centuries. Their offices in the city of Trebisacce, which provides health care to people in the area, turned 15. To celebrate, they came to see the Pope.
"He's a Pope without any prejudices, a Pope that loves everyone, and it has touched us all today.”
This is the first time they've come to see Pope Francis. Their last trip to Rome had a much more solemn purpose.
"Unfortunately, we've had to come for reasons that were not joyful. We offered our services when Pope John Paul II died, as well as for Benedict XVI's first Mass.”
This time around, they said they're very happy to be here, and that even a smile from the Pope makes their trip worthwile.
"It gives us the strength to keep moving forward, and to get involved even more.”
They came with their colorful uniforms to get the Pope's attention, but their yelps and smiles definitely stood out among the crowd.
Long live Mercy!