On Wednesday, the Vatican becomes a festive place as pilgrims from diverse cultures gather in Saint Peter's Square. This group of Indonesians, for example, enlivened the mood with a touch of music and color as they awaited the pope's arrival in his popemobile.
Some daring pilgrims flock to get the pope's attention by offering him mate or even asking him to blow out an eager pilgrims birthday candles.
However, this bustling group pilgrims from the Central African Republic were able to go above and beyond when it came to getting the peoples attention.
"It's the pope,” they tell us. "He is the most recognized figure in the Catholic Church.” His infectious enthusiasm has delighted many pilgrims like this young couple the pope greeted the end of the General Audience.
"I did not understand what they were saying but I joined them. You have to just go for it.”
Another pilgrim, managed to capture the pontiff on his phone as the pope greeted a group of sick attendees inside of the Paul VI Audience Hall.
"He blessed us. It was very special. I am proud and happy to receive his blessing.”
"We were very delighted when we saw him. We wanted to touch him and talk to him about our country but it was not possible.”
This is the first time they visit the Vatican, after leaving their home country that has been plagued by violence. The emotions they have experienced is indescribable and the joy they have transmitted is also unmatched.
These are just some of the stories of the many people that visit Rome every Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.