"And the Pope, he showed so much love," even giving the Frenchman a hug, Charlie said. "And then the Pope didn't go away, he had a chat as if they were in a restaurant."
"The Pope talked about every person, homeless or not, looking for that dream and that goal, talking about peace and love and charity."
Charlie said that before going on the pilgrimage, he had four days to "look back" at his life. He said that he had "messed up" his life by drinking and had practiced no religion for years, only coming back to the faith a few years ago.
But at the vigil at St. Paul Outside the Walls, Charlie said he had the chance to speak with a priest "about everything," and he came out afterward "with a bit of emotion."
One of the messages he said he received that weekend was that even if you've lived a "bad life," there is still the sacrament of confession.
"Everything that Pope Francis said was brilliant," said Jacob Mensah, a young man, also from London. What struck him was what Pope Francis said about dreams being for everyone, and that they all "have dignity."
Fr. Padraig Regan, a chaplain at The Passage, said the weekend was a huge "sign of respect" for everyone who participated. It was incredibly important for each of them to be "taken seriously" by the Church.
One of the organizers of the group from the UK, Bénédicte Miolane, is a member of Fratello who now lives in London. She said that Fratello is already talking about how they can include even more people from around the world in the future.
The goal, she said, would be to make it like a World Youth Day, but a version specifically for the poor and homeless.
Terence said that another major thing that struck him "and changed his view" was the love he witnessed between "rough sleepers" (what they call those who sleep on the street) and the "ordinary" people also participating in the event.
"It was the love between them that I noticed," he said. "They have something about them, they show each other affection."
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Speaking to pilgrims at the event's concluding Mass Nov. 13, Pope Francis said: "Let us look with trust to the God of mercy, with the certainty that 'love never ends.'"
"And let us open our eyes to our neighbor, especially to our brothers and sisters who are forgotten and excluded. That is where the Church's magnifying glass is pointed."