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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis blesses child dressed as a young pope

After the General Audience the Vatican published this picture from Pope Francis' Instagram account with little Isaac, who came to see the Pope dressed up just like him.

It wasn't the first time Brian and Courtney Kissinger dressed up their children to see the Pope. 

“Our son Francis, he wore the brother Francis, Saint Francis, outfit actually a few years ago, and our daughter dressed as Saint Therese because we came in November right after All Saints Day, and that worked and that time even when it's packed out here. 0:57 So we were like, 'Oh we wonder today, let's try putting him in a different outfit.”

The couple traveled to Rome from Austria with their children and a group of students from Franciscan University's study abroad program. They say seeing the Pope in such an intimate setting was unlike anything else. 

"This is just such a treat to be able to come to a Papal audience, we had been to several audiences with students in the past here in St. Peter's Square, so we didn't really know what the smaller venue would be like but gosh what a gift, what a blessing".

As parents, Brian and Courtney were struck by how the Pope took his time to engage with their children. An example of the value of patience in parenting. 

“Just the stress of being in a hotel with little kids and getting out, like, I didn't want to stop and be patient with my own children, so I guess just reflecting and seeing like 'wow, if the Pope can stop and be patient with all of these people crowding around with my own children,' that's just a reminder as parents, and as a mother, to be patient with my own children and make the eye contact, spend time with them.”

The Kissingers will soon return home to Austria, but they are already planning their next outfits for when they visit the Pope again. 

"You have a good idea? Oh, he was saying next time he wants to dress as St. Joseph, and that Pope Francis would also like St. Joseph".

It has yet to be announced when the Pope's audiences will resume in St. Peter's Square, but pilgrims seem to be in no rush to abandon the intimate gatherings with the Pope in the St. Damaso courtyard.