The Day My Baby Met the Pope

It was the year 2018, I was at Fiumicino Airport waiting to board my flight back to Manila. I can vividly remember how Michael (my boyfriend back then) sent a video of his niece being carried and kissed by Papa Francisco. Tears started to fall, my knees were shaking, I was smiling. In fact, I cannot explain what I was feeling just by watching the video, yes – in the middle of the airport. From that time on, I promised myself that IF and WHEN I get the chance to go back to Rome, I would make sure that I will see him.

Fast forward to 2022, I am now married to Michael and we were blessed to have a one year-old daughter, Margarita. Initially their family planned to spend the holidays in Europe, have a little tour here and there and do a little side trip to Rome. As soon as I learned about it, I secretly prayed and wished to see Papa Francisco alongside with my Margarita.

Our itinerary wasn’t final until mid-November, and tickets to the Papal Audience wasn’t confirmed until first week of December – so imagine the anxiety of keeping this wish for quite some time. Nonetheless, my faith was not shattered, I kept on praying and indeed when the time was right, the Lord made it happen – Isaiah 60:22.

The Day My Baby Met the Pope

December 21, 2022 – Margarita’s 14th month was the day when we were scheduled to be part of the Papal Audience held inside the Paul VI Audience Hall. We began lining up beside St. Peter’s Square around 6 am and braved the 6° weather for an hour and a half. The crowd was beginning to be rowdy & honestly some were trying to push us out of the line. We were lucky enough to have the coordinator set eye on Margarita giving us the privilege to go on a separate line to get a head start at the main entrance and security check.

Upon entering, we were rushing to get good seats and there was an Italian guy by the name of Juan who tapped my shoulder and said “stay close to me, I’ll get good seats for you and baby” – and he did! We were seated in front of the aisle where the Pope was set to pass after his readings. We waited for quite some time and this Nanay was extra prepared with snack and small toys. We were somehow lucky that Margarita didn’t make a fuss the whole time. She was patient, observing the crowd and even joining them when they clap and praise the Pope!

9:00 AM – There he was, Papa Francisco, appearing on stage, waving and smiling at us. THIS WAS SURREAL and I can’t even express how ecstatic I was feeling. Tears were falling, my voice cracking, even Margarita was waving to him! We listened to his catechesis and it was translated to different languages. It was about discernment and peace of heart which was a timely reminder to stop and pause and appreciate the God’s creation and plans, to appreciate the silence and the noise, to see the purpose of each event and action.


10:00 AM – Papa Francisco began to give his blessings and greetings to different groups such as the newly weds, sickly, group of children and the likes. By this time, we were hopeful that Papa would be passing by the middle to give his blessing to the general audience.

11:00 AM – There it was… that ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity happening right before my eyes. The Pope was in front of me and Margarita! As I was carrying her, trying to reach for Papa Francisco, one of the vespers acknowledged our presence and suddenly the Pope was blessing my daughter. I was praising his name, tears falling on my face, experiencing the moment, internalizing what happened so fast yet so slow at the same time. My Margarita Met The Pope…and she was blessed!

This moment was and still is surreal. I cannot fathom that simple wish from 2018 becoming a reality and so much more 4 years after. This meeting became an important reminder that when you manifest something and put your faith to the Lord, He will make it happen at the right time.

After the Papal Audience, people were smiling at us and even saying how lucky we were that our daughter was blessed by the Pope. Upon exiting at St. Peter’s Square, a Filipino family from Cebu who was seated across the aisle approached us and mentioned that they have a full video of Margarita being blessed by the Pope from their point of view. As they shared the clip, they also mentioned how they feel lucky seeing a fellow Filipino in the crowd moreover witnessing the actual blessing.

How can I imagine that wild, young & free lady back in 2018 who made a promise to herself that she will see the Pope had been blessed with his presence and so much more 4 years after. Coming back to Rome, revisiting the places we’ve been to while fulfilling a lifelong dream made me realize how our faith can lead us from our dreams turning into a reality.

Margarita’s blessing was also featured in the Vatican News. They posted her picture being blessed together with our family picture all smiles at the camera. Filipinos all over the world commented how proud they were seeing a Filipino baby being touched by the Pope.


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It may sound cliché but really, good things come to those who wait. I’ve been patiently waiting for this day to come and it did at the right time. This time, I wasn’t alone but I was with my family. More than that, my little girl was blessed and was touched by the Pope. I only aimed to see him, but I was given so much more than what I have prayed for.

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