“OMG! The Pope is coming to Philly!” *screams of excitement*
That was my reaction when I found out about the Pope’s visit. Some of you totally understand my reaction but others think I am crazy. Well, maybe. The point here is that this visit is really, really, really (did I say really?) important to me. Let me explain why.
Quite simply, I am a Catholic Peruvian woman. I attended a Catholic school, was born in a very Catholic family, my godfather is a priest – I could go on. So I was raised with Catholic values and for Catholics like me the Pope represents God on Earth, and God is everything to me. God is what I see/feel when my mom laughs or when I am demotivated due to a bad day and then I think that there is a reason to smile. God is all my reasons. And being able to meet his representative for the first time is outstanding.
I have to confess (see how Catholic I am!) that my excitement is also because I really like Pope Francis. He is the first Latin American Pope in history! Something that makes him cool (just sayin’). He is also really close with the people. Did you know that Pope Francis marked his 77th birthday by hosting four homeless men to a Mass and a meal at the Vatican? Yeah, he’s that kind of person and everyone appreciates him. I have heard Wharton friends who are not even Catholics saying “I’m a huge fan of Pope Francis”.
But I’m biased, so don’t take my word for it. Just type “Why Pope Francis” in the Google toolbar, and it will autocomplete great descriptions like in the image (seriously, try it!).
Pope Francis is unbelievable! He leads 1.2 billion people and he’s still a humble person. He broke historic ground by choosing the name Francis, as this is the first time the name is being used by a pope. Pope Francis chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because he was a lover of the poor. Moreover, he is an amazing leader and negotiator even in non-religious issues. He wrote a personal letter to President Obama and a separate letter to Cuban President Raúl Castro to invite the leaders to “resolve humanitarian questions of common interest, including the situation of certain prisoners” which resulted in a major U.S. policy shift toward Cuba.
I really admire Pope Francis as a leader, as a Catholic, and as a human being. This admiration motivated me to become the Co-President of the Wharton Catholic Club to connect all Catholics at Wharton to help them be part of the Pope’s visit. This is going to be for myself and for the other two million people coming from all over the world one of the most excited moments of our lives.
Do you have to care about the Pope’s visit? It’s up to you. But if you want you are more than welcome to participate! According to the News, this Pope’s visit is the biggest single event in the history of Philadelphia and you can be part of it by attending the Address at the Independence Mall or the Festival of Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sep 26th (Andrea Bocelli, Aretha Franklin, Juanes, and The Philadelphia Orchestra among others will perform). Additionally, you can attend the Papal Mass on Sep 27th! And don’t worry if you are not Catholic, it is open to everyone because one of Pope Francis’ many virtues is respect. This is one of his first quotes as a Pope: “I know that many of you are not Catholic or are not believers, so I impart my heartfelt blessing to each of you silently, respecting your consciences, but knowing that each of you is a child of God. May God bless you”. Go Pope Francis!