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French school comes to Italy to explore Latin language and greet the Pope

2016-06-12

Notre Dame school in Alençon, France, loaded 50 students on a bus and drove to Rome to practice the Latin they learned in their classes this school year. 

In addition to visiting the various historical sites around the ancient city, they also made their way to Vatican City, to attend the Wednesday general audience with Pope Francis. 

Their latin was put to use on various occasions, one being at the end of the audience with the recitation of the "Our Father.”

"At the end of the audience, we will sing together the Our Father in Latin.”

CLEMENT GENNIN 
Teacher, Notre Dame School (France)
"For them it's something they hear in class, they can see here, they can see it here, so that's good for them.” 

In addition to being able to practice another language, there was also another part of Rome that was foreign to them, the sun. The children wore hats and sunglasses to shade themselves as much as possible in the open St. Peter's Square.

ELISE ETIENNE
Student
"We are French and we don't have a lot of sun like now, so it was hot. But it was very good because I, it's the first time when I saw the Pope. So I was very, very happy, and all people with me because they spoke about our school. When they spoke our name  we cried. We cried, 'Yes!'”

It is the first time most of the students have seen Rome, and they made sure to visit the tourist attractions the city offers. The students range in age from nine to 15 years old and they were all fascinated with Rome.

"It's cool. Beautiful. It's very beautiful. Impressive.” 

CLEMENT GENNIN 
Teacher, Notre Dame School (France)
"For them it's an impressive city with a lot of historic monuments and they are very happy to see it and to discover it.”

After the general audience, the group made their way to the Sistine Chapel to be dazzled by the work of Michelangelo, while searching for Latin words the whole time.


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