Journey to the Pope


Mercy junior Lydia Gier had a once in a lifetime experience when she saw Pope Francis in America. (Photo credit: Lydia Gier)

Life-changing events don’t happen every day. But for Junior Lydia Gier, seeing Pope Francis in person in Philadelphia recently was life-changing.

Gier took this impactful journey with her mother, aunt, and members of her church. The group began planning the trip in July.

“I saw him on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia when he was parading down the parkway in the popemobile,” Gier said.

The parade was one of many events held during the weekend, which was also called Francis Festival. During his visit, Pope Francis visited many different historical Catholic sites in the area. He had a mass at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. A mass was held on the closing day of the exciting weekend.

Gier was just one out of about a million people who crowded along sidewalks and streets to get a glimpse of the pope, but the experience is one she will never forget. The spiritual trip had a major impact on Gier and her faith.

“People from all over the world were gathered together and that left me with a very comforting and secure feeling,” she said. “You hear about the Pope visiting different places and speaking to different groups of people,” she said, “but it all became real when he was so close.”