COUNTRY 4 – Vatican City State “The Holy See,” Papal Conclave  and way more!

“Dear Young People, Do not bury your talents, the gifts God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!” – Pope Francis

The smallest state in the world both in area and population has lots of tourists visiting due to very diverse yet related purposes.

Christian pilgrimage.

Pope Francis. Papal Mass.

The history, beauty and art of its famous architecture – St. Peter’s Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel. The art of Michelangelo.

The home to world’s only ATM that gives instruction in Latin.

Veni. Vidi. Amavi. 

We came. We saw. We loved.

on top of St. Peter’s Basilica, 350 steps up!
Our Turknoy family has been to Vatican City State. Twice.
We’ve seen all this and witnessed the Papal Conclave.

Turknoy Mum has been raised a Roman Catholic, by default, and going to the Vatican City is a pilgrimage for her. It was a holy and awakening experience yet there were more questions than answers. More unraveling than confirmation.

Our family, Catholic or not, are God-believers. Yet, we were awakened with the need for deeper understanding of God in its entire sense, outside the walled area of Vatican City. One does not need world class and elegant architecture, ancient or modern, to find a connection with God. It may be an unpopular view but that’s one strong opinion (note: opinion, subjective, based on our own personal perspective) our family really believes in.

That belief gave us wide open eyes to explore the Vatican City. In addition, we had an amazing instant 5-minute fame. Well, at least for Turknoy Mum. As for the kids, it was their chance to see how awesome their mum is! (Again, our family’s opinion.)

We were on our way to the Vatican City, add the rain for more melodramatic effect, when a journalist/ reporter/ TV personality from AL Jazeera Channel approached our family and was “hijacked” for interview. Turknoy Mum was fabulous in answering the questions live. Kids and Turknoy Dad were very impressed.

Hijacked Turknoy Mum Interview at the Vatican City!
Two main questions which she can recall:

Question: Who do you think will be the next Pope?

Her Answer: I have high confidence on Cardinal Tagle from the Philippines. It’s high time to have the Roman Catholic choose another Asian Pope, a minority race, to represent the real issues in that part of the world. Philippines is a Roman Catholic country….Insert more intelligent words why.. (can’t recall them now really, probably it was half-meant due to the pressure of TV camera rolling live…) until the reporter asked another question.

Question: That’s a fresh view on this papal conclave. What you think is the most challenging issue that the new pope will face?

Answer: Lack of faith.. Lack of faith in God. Faith in religion, not so much. It’s the diversity of the religions and practices that divides humanity. The new pope should focus on strengthening the faith in God.

Turknoy Mum blushed and blushed while the world waited for the election of the new pope. After several days and three thick black smoke , at exactly7:06pm ,13th March 2013, white smoke appeared and Pope Francis was elected.

Habemus Papam! We have a new Pope! 

Veni. Vidi. Amavi. 

That’s one of the greatest gift of traveling. We’ll never know what adventure is next, what we will be part of. This country adventure led us to something historical to a religion close to our hearts. Memory that will last for a long time in our hearts, mind and itchy feet! 

Pope Francis said it, do not be afraid to dream of great things and go for it. Opportunities happen when we attempt to use our given talents, even if we are unaware what talents we have. 

Yes, even as trivial yet historical as being part of the Papal conclave on international television. 

Veni. Vidi. Amavi. 

The after fame glow! Veni. Vidi. Amavi.

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