This group of 22 young people with special needs and their families came to Rome all the way from Warsaw, Poland.
One of the highlights of their visit was to attend Pope Francis' general audience. However, the journey to St. Peter's was not an easy one.
Sister of youth
"Rome is not the most wheelchair-friendly city. We had a lot of troubles with no pavements and very high cornerstones, especially the electric wheelchairs couldn't go up, so we needed a lot of time in Rome.”
All the troubles were worth it when they arrived at the general audience, where the group was in for a surprise.
Sister of youth
"We came just for the audience, but I think eight people of our group were invited in the middle, and then the Pope came to us. We were totally surprised. We didn't know that it would happen, so most of the people were crying. We were super happy. Just see their faces now.”
The language barrier did not prevent the Polish youths from enjoying the audience. They were all very excited to see Pope Francis.
"Well, I think the audience was very lively. The Pope was very friendly and open, and you can feel that he has a big heart.”
In particular, the youths were inspired by his message of equality and solidarity.
"For me, a handicapped person, it is a very important thing that somebody said to many people that we are equal.”
Despite the structural barriers, the group has traveled to several European cities. With this visit to Rome they showed that where there is hope, there is nothing that can keep them from their goals.