A Kiss Goodbye

February 27, 2013

‘When I see you, I see the Church is alive.’
-Pope Benedict XVI

We made the trek to St. Peter’s Square early this morning to line up with the crowds of faithful and curious onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of Papa on his last full day in the Fisherman’s office.

We were not disappointed.

We spent 3 hours fighting through pressing crowds and stalwartly holding our position against the barricade, hoping against hope to catch a glimpse of our beloved Holy Father,
And then this happened.

And then this.

My son, the Pope, the Popemobile. Dreams do come true.

Dear Pope Benedict, as I was able to say to you this morning, however inelegantly, when I looked into your eyes after my youngest son, John Paul, was handed back into my arms, thank you.

The Church is, indeed, alive.


  • Reply Colleen February 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!!!! You are so lucky, that is beautiful!!! WOW! On his last audience ever! I am so happy for your family! What a blessing!!!! (Never enough exclamation points for something this AWESOME!!!!!)

  • Reply letlovebesincere February 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Holy CRAP,,,,, I saw that on good morning America this morning,,,,,

  • Reply letlovebesincere February 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Also, maybe he’ll sleep better now?

  • Reply joaninordinarytime February 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!! I’m SOOO happy for you, Jenny!! WOO HOO!!


  • Reply nicolemariearts February 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    My jaw dropped. holy cow. wow. πŸ˜€

  • Reply Deb February 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I’m crying. That is SO beautiful! What a gift, what a grace, what a blessing!!!

  • Reply Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Yes, let’s hope for a sleep training miracle!

  • Reply Sarah O'C February 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Holy Moly!!!! your son, named for one fabulous pope, and kissed by another! Blessed be God forever, and blessed be your John Paul!!!!

  • Reply Ellen Johnson February 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    What a blessing! There are tears in my eyes; you must be bawling!!

  • Reply Cari February 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    That made me weepy a little bit.
    And since I hate being weepy, I’ll lighten myself up with a joke:
    Only a sweater and cargo pants on the boy? It must be 80 degrees there!
    Heh heh heh.

  • Reply Holly February 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I kinda wept over this during breakfast. Beautiful. We need to chat, sista. I need the whole story!

  • Reply Katie February 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I have tears!! How beautiful! How awesome!! What an awesome gift!!

  • Reply Francine February 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Beautiful! Not gonna lie, I may have geared up a bit. What a blessing!

  • Reply Francine February 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Ugh. TEARED. I hate autocorrect.

  • Reply Em February 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    You are famous. I’m telling every one i know that JP got kissed by Benny! I love you and I know that this moment is exactly the reason Jesus brought you to Rome!

  • Reply Em February 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I am telling everyone I know about this! This is the exact moment our Lord wanted you to be in Rome for! What a blessing. Love you so much.

  • Reply sarahm February 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    DANG, Jenny, you have some A-Ma-Zing luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Mary February 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm


  • Reply Michele Chronister February 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Yeah, I was going to say…papal kisses heal sleeping problems, right?

    I am soooo happy for you!!! What a beautiful, beautiful memory for you!!!!

  • Reply Katrina Rose February 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Oh. My. What a blessing!!! I cried when I saw the last photo. So beautiful!!!!

  • Reply Beth (A Mom's Life) February 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Are you kidding me??? How awesome is that?? How totally AWESOME!

  • Reply Kris February 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Oh, Jenny. Oh, oh, oh!! How wonderful! Wow. Something to show him when he gets older. So awesome!

  • Reply mamamcdev February 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    OH MY GOODNESSSSSSS!!!! this is so awesome, jenny! so, you have a feeling you’ll get to meet the pope, huh? God doesn’t waste much time! what a special day! uh, you might want to scrapbook that one. πŸ™‚ love you guys and so grateful for the grace and blessing the Lord bestowed upon your family!

  • Reply Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Beautiful!!!! What a gift!

  • Reply Alexandra February 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Ahhh! My Mamma Heart is just shaking with happiness for you!

  • Reply Ana February 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I just teared up- so amazing!!!!!!

  • Reply RowdyatHeart February 27, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Tears in my eyes, lump in my throat! How beautiful and lucky you are to be there during this time!

  • Reply Liz February 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Wow! What a blessing!!!!!

  • Reply Lisa G. February 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I have chills!!!!!! Amazing!!! Oh I’m going to miss him πŸ™‚

  • Reply Natasha February 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Unreal + Beautiful!

  • Reply Dwija {House Unseen} February 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm


    Totally sobbing at this. Amazing! Wonderful! Words cannot express….

  • Reply Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    This is absolutely amazing πŸ™‚

  • Reply Allison February 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! What a spectacular memory. Aren’t his eyes so filled with serene love?

  • Reply Lauren Gulde February 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    So beautiful!!! What a tremendous blessing for your family and especially your little one. He loves us all SO much. The look on his face…. ah, the look of Jesus. Thank you for letting us rejoice with you!

  • Reply Tino Tarango February 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    This, is AWESOME!!! πŸ™‚ Like hello, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Emily February 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    AH! Amazing! God bless you and your family!

  • Reply KMantoan February 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!!! I am so happy for you!!!!

  • Reply Kathryn February 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Oh my. I don’t even know you and I cried some happy tears. What a precious, precious moment.

  • Reply Rosie February 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Amazing! A. maz. ing.

  • Reply Ashley Crane February 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Oh how incredible! I only know you through reading your blog, but this makes me feel like my family and I are blessed (and almost famous!) just through that little association πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kate February 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    OMG Jenny! So happy for you! What a wonderful memory!

  • Reply Charlotte (WaltzingM) February 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Our friend, Father Jerabek, shared that last picture on FB and when I saw it, I burst into tears of joy. It’s so beautiful! And then my friend, Dwija, points me towards your blog. It’s really nice to “meet” you. I draw coloring pages of saints and post them on my blog, if your boys are old enough to enjoy that kind of thing yet.

  • Reply Emily Davis February 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I am awestruck!
    I don’t know what to say.
    I just found your blog through a friend who posted this on FB and now I wish I knew how to follow your blog.
    I am going to say WOW again.

  • Reply Las Vegas Mama February 27, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Whaaat! How in the world did you ever capture such AMAZING photos of this event???? I mean, for it to happen at all is rare enough but to get PHOTOS of it??? WOW WOW WOW!!!!

  • Reply Mama P February 28, 2013 at 12:05 am

    This is just… everything. Just everything. I can’t even begin. The look of complete love on his face and the joy you must have felt! How wonderful you were able to capture this memory on camera!

  • Reply priest's wife February 28, 2013 at 12:22 am

    wow! That baby is so blessed!

  • Reply Lena February 28, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Beautiful & blessed. DEO GRATIAS!

  • Reply Ashley February 28, 2013 at 1:41 am

    I have goosebumps! So wonderful.

  • Reply Tamara February 28, 2013 at 1:44 am

    That is so wonderful! What a beautiful consolation to always remember!

  • Reply Jamie Jo February 28, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Here from Waltzing Mathilda’s—just have to say, Awwwwwwwwwwww!

  • Reply Kate February 28, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I can’t stop reading this post. So happy for your family!

  • Reply Paige Kellerman February 28, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Oh my gosh, that’s wonderful! Priceless,priceless pictures…:)

  • Reply Debbie February 28, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Amazing. Just amazing!

  • Reply Christy from fountains of home February 28, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Ahh! Jenny!! I can’t believe that happened!! I think I would cry for days if the Pope picked up my baby I’d be so happy! And the pictures turned out so well!
    I think this sweet boy who’s named after one pope who’s going to be a saint, and who was picked up by the next pope who’ll probably be a saint should sleep through the night until he’s 18!

  • Reply thisfelicitouslife February 28, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I’m here from the link on Joannie’s blog. So beautiful. I am tearing up. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Sarah February 28, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Oh! My heart!!!

  • Reply Grace in my Heart February 28, 2013 at 3:26 am

    I landed here via Building Cathedrals and I just had to let you know that your photo brought tears to my eyes! How beautiful!

    I read back to find out why you were in Italy and I just love your story. I also have two young boys so I admire your courage and willingness to take them all around. What an experience of a lifetime! When you also wrote how you hoped to find friends I was thinking- I want to be her friend!…haha, but sadly sorry, I don’t live in Italy. Darn.

    Best wishes from a new reader. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Robina February 28, 2013 at 3:27 am

    what a blessing.

  • Reply Jennifer @ Conversion Diary February 28, 2013 at 5:36 am

    WHOA!!! That is amazing! What an incredible picture, and an incredible moment.

  • Reply Kendra February 28, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Oh I’m crying! CRYING!

    What a beautiful moment for your family. I’m so happy you have these pictures too so you can treasure this memory forever. God bless Papa Bene and your family.

  • Reply Natalie Trust February 28, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Like the many others here, I had tears streaming down my face. I was received into the Catholic church last year, and have currently been sharing about my spiritual journey on my blog. Finding this post was a blessing in two ways:

    1) I don’t know many Catholics and so with the resignation of the Pope, I have felt alone in mourning his loss. All these commemts that have been left are SO encouraging.

    2) I see the heart of Jesus in these pictures. Such pure and undefiled beauty will be forever etched in my mind.

    Thank you so much for sharing such a special, sacred moment!

  • Reply Catholic Cookie Jar February 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Love, love, love it! This is absolutely amazing! So, so beautiful! I am so happy you and your family were able to experience that moment!

  • Reply Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I had never been to your blog before yesterday, but a friend linked to these photos–amazing. I started crying when I saw them and basically haven’t been able to stop now! God bless you and your family!

  • Reply October Rose February 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Oh my gosh. This is amazing. I am crying. How beautiful.

  • Reply Nikita Unverzagt February 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    That is so awesome, I should say there are other pictures of your little one, if you wish here is the link to where there are more pictures of your little one: https://picasaweb.google.com/112407169220406085709/PopeSLastAudience?authkey=Gv1sRgCOvHyITo37OiOQ&feat=flashalbum#5849630645151628786 One of the Dominican Friars Fr. Pius was taking pictures and some our of your little one! It must of been an awesome moment.

  • Reply Hilary February 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Bawling. This is beautiful.

  • Reply [email protected] February 28, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I am just catching up with my blogs after our move.
    And, um, oh my pope!
    I am so happy for your family.
    That’s pretty much the coolest story I have ever heard.
    I have been bragging about you all day!

  • Reply Angela February 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    WOW! That is amazing…what a blessing!! And a memory to last a lifetime!

  • Reply [email protected] February 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    This is so so beautiful. You and your family are so blessed to have this happen to you.

    And the fact that you captured it on film too….omg as a wannabe amateur photog, it just makes me squeal.

  • Reply Angie February 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    This took my breath away! What a blessing!

  • Reply Elizabeth C. February 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Clicked in from Waltzing Matilda…

    I hadn’t teared up until this. What a great blessing for your family, but most especially your John Paul.

  • Reply Kendra Tierney March 1, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Hah. Yours is a truly extraordinary moment. I posted a picture at the end of my post today about when the exact opposite thing happened to me. Pope Benedict was awesome, but my baby wouldn’t have it. It’s been such a treat to watch these momentous events through your family’s eyes. Thank you!

  • Reply Anonymous March 1, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Beautiful! Best blessing ever! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Lee March 1, 2013 at 12:49 am

    EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!! <3

  • Reply TracyE March 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

    OH wow. I’ve kept it together all day and then THIS. Ugh. heart in throat. Just SOOOOOO, PAPA. Personified. God bless. I’m curious as to how long before you wash your son’s head, because I don’t think I could. Ever. I’m linking this to my 7QTs tomorrow, it’s just so preciously heartwarming!!!

  • Reply TRICIA March 1, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Wow, wow, and wow! Too amazing for words!

  • Reply Morgan March 1, 2013 at 4:59 am

    oh my goodness.
    the pure joy on Papa Benny’s face made me cry.
    what a blessing and dream come true for mothers/mothers-to-be/hopeful-someday-mothers everywhere!

  • Reply BlancaTherese @ Catholic in the City March 1, 2013 at 5:50 am

    What a blessing, and what great photos!

  • Reply Erin March 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Totally covered in goosebumps!!! How absolutely amazing!!!!!!

  • Reply michelle @ this little light March 1, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I have GOOSEBUMPS!

  • Reply Theresa March 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Um.. Crying.. Like CRYING crying… I saw this photo plastered all over Facebook yesterday! What an extraordinary moment that your family will cherish forever.

  • Reply Billie Jo March 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Oh my! I am here from Colleen’s blog, and I am crying! That took my breath away…I am speechless…So very happy for you all!

  • Reply Megan T. March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Dave and Jenny, what a special blessing for you and your son! God bless your family!
    Dan T. (Dave’s classmate from CTL)

  • Reply Kim March 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Goosebumps and tears! What a blessing!!

  • Reply Christie March 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    This brings tears to my eyes this morning. How beautiful.

  • Reply assortedjoys March 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    That is amazing!!!! What a gift! And your baby’s name is John Paul to boot! Did you tell them that? How fitting – B16 came into that square most likely after kissing his friend and former Pope JP good bye and now gives the new generation of the church, a baby named John Paul, a kiss on his own way out. God truly works in amazing ways.

  • Reply Modest Mama March 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I am totally speechless. Beautiful.

  • Reply Jennifer March 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Oh my gosh! Came to here from Conversion Diary’s link – and I had to call my mom and read/tell her this story – what a wonderful gift. Incredible pictures!

  • Reply Amy March 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    OH WOW. Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!! It made me tear up it’s just so special and so beautiful.

  • Reply Allison March 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    That is so amazing. What a blessing! I’m so happy for you that you got pictures to treasure this moment.

  • Reply Becky March 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Also came here from Conversion Diary’s link. So, so, so happy for you!!

  • Reply Erica S. March 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    What a blessing! Amazing!

  • Reply Lisa March 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    A-mazing, and so beautiful! I would be posting this til kingdom come.

  • Reply tricia March 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    this is so amazing and beautiful!!! what an incredible gift!

  • Reply Megan March 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Every time I see these pictures I cry. Yes, that means I keep coming back to look at them repeatedly. I couldn’t be happier for you. Much love!

  • Reply Anonymous March 2, 2013 at 12:31 am

    i can’t BELIEVE this! it’s so very amazing! i’m so VERY excited that you were able to be there AND get it all on film!!! to have your little one blessed by any pope is an amazing thing. to have him blessed by the pope on the last full day in “office” is even MORE amazing! i cried when i saw this on my tv. i’m crying again reading about it and seeing YOUR pictures of it happening! maybe someday, your little one will be blessing another baby named benedict in that same place!

  • Reply Martha Reilly March 2, 2013 at 12:33 am

    CRYING! Oh my goodness!

  • Reply Laura M March 2, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Wow. just wow…

  • Reply Ashley March 2, 2013 at 12:59 am


  • Reply Sarah ThΓ©rΓ¨se March 2, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Oh. My. Goodness! What an incredible gift! Thanks be to God! I am crying at the last picture… His joy and that smile! Beautiful! Praise the Lord!

  • Reply Anonymous March 2, 2013 at 10:48 am


  • Reply theresa EH March 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    WOW!!!!! How amazing!!! I would be emailing this to your local paper!!! now this is good news eh!

  • Reply Anonymous March 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I am crying looking at this picture! I could not bring myself to watch TV because I am just so sad about him leaving. But thank you soooo much for sharing these beautiful photos!!! My heart is still sad but grateful for this awesome, humble, holy man. Thanks to conversiondiary for the link!

  • Reply Sally L. Smith March 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Though I am not Catholic, I have respected and admired this Pope
    and this is only one of the many reasons. What a blessing.

  • Reply Anonymous March 3, 2013 at 2:59 am

    oh man, oh man, oh man. NOW I am officially blown away! A day to remember through the generations for you . God bless you! See, you named him JOHN PAUL, and God blesses you!

  • Reply Christine March 3, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Ahh – just now seeing this, due to my Lenten internet fasts. Beautiful, beautiful!! I would have cried as well! And it’s so wonderful that you have pictures of it too πŸ™‚

  • Reply benedicamusdomino March 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I am long time lurker and I believe first time commenter. I found you through Grace’s blog and I was hooked from first read. Anyway, I was showing my husband Dave your incredible pictures and he wanted to know who you all were and once he saw a pic of your family he said, “Oh hey, I went to Trinity with Dave. He was in my class.” SO with this small world connection, I am hoping you all will be completely cool with us coming to crash at your sweet little appartamento (you know, just us and the four kids). And in exchange I will gladly get up with JP in the evenings. Thanks in advance!

  • Reply Hillary March 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I know we’ve been over this a million times, but this picture makes my heart burst with joy whenever I see it. I am so so so happy for you and Dave that you’re over there right now! Love you sissy!

  • Reply Being Refined March 7, 2013 at 1:45 am

    AMAZING!!!! Oh my goodness!!! Such beautiful photos.

  • Reply Cathy M~(checkitoff) March 12, 2013 at 1:02 am

    How AMAZING!! And your pics are great!!! hugs, cathy

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