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Memorable moments from Pope Francis' 100 general audiences

2015-08-27

Between this welcome message from Pope Francis...

and this one...

One hundred general audiences have taken place, giving us some of the most interesting and tender moments of Pope Francis' pontificate.

General audiences are celebrated almost every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. The Pope usually arrives around 9:30 a.m., before it gets too hot.

Or too cold.

The audience must go on, even if it's raining in the Eternal City.

And the Popemobile is often showered in gifts as it winds through St. Peter's Square. People have given Pope Francis jerseys, hats, and letters. He often stops to trade his papal hat with someone or even take a sip of traditional Argentine tea.

This group of Legionaries of Christ gave him a cake for his 78th birthday and sang him traditional Mexican songs.

One person even brought a parrot to St. Peter's Square for Pope Francis.

The Popemobile often stops for children and the elderly. The Pope has blessed hundreds of elderly and thousands of babies during his audiences.

POPE FRANCIS
March 18, 2015
"Some, when I try to give them a kiss, smile. Others, they see me in white, and they think I'm a doctor and I'll give them a vaccine. They cry spontaneously. Children are like this.”

Pope Francis is the first Pope to invite pilgrims to join him on the Popemobile. For example, the Pope happened to see an Argentine priest in the crowd and invited him to take a ride.

On many occasions the Pope has said he is a fan of the soccer team San Lorenzo, and he often spots their gear from a distance.

The Pope always brings a written speech, typically a catechesis. But he often improvises large chunks of his remarks. It's led to surprising and powerful moments.

POPE FRANCIS
May 20, 2015
"To you, separated couples, I advise: Never, never, never, take your child hostage. You are separated by so many difficulties and life has tested you. But children should not carry of the burden of your separation.”

POPE FRANCIS
March 4, 2015
"I asked a woman, 'Do your children visit you? She said, 'Yes, yes, they do.' When was the last time they came? She said, 'For Christmas.' We were in August! Eight months without a visit from her children. Eight months of being abandoned! This is a deadly sin. Understood?”

After the catechesis, he often spends more than an hour personally meeting with hundreds of different visitors. To respect protocol, he starts with cardinals and bishops. But immediately afterward, he meets with sick people and the elderly. He spends the majority of his time with them during the audiences.


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