The Catholic University of America (CUA) features a story on its website this week about junior theology major Ajani Gibson's recent encounter with Pope Francis. Gibson is studying at the CUA Campus in Rome.
During a papal audience in St. Peter's Square, Gibson helped a nearby pilgrim from the United States trade zucchetti—the traditional skullcaps worn by Catholic clerics—with Pope Francis, CUA said in a press release.
Gibson narrates the unique encounter:
“The first time [Pope Francis drove by], he did not notice the zucchetto because he was turned around, kissing babies. However, the head of his security noticed that I had a zucchetto and nodded to let me know that Pope Francis would pass again,” [Gibson] said.
“The second time, Pope Francis saw me and the zucchetto and reached for it, but the popemobile was moving too fast. The third time, Pope Francis walked to the edge of the popemobile closest to me. He reached for the zucchetto and took it, but the driver kept driving.
“So, the Pope made the driver stop, and he turned around. He took the zucchetto off of his head and placed it on the one that I gave him as if to compare them. Then, he handed it to the bodyguard to hand to me. He turned around, looked at me, and smiled. It was surreal. My eyes were full of tears because he stopped just for me.”
Read the full story on CUA's website.
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