Lunch with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI after the VII World Meeting of Families.
Over One Million people were estimated to be in attendance at the Holy Mass presided by the Pope in Milan on June 3rd, 2012, and after that, no one ate lunch with the Pope. I was the "no one" that ate lunch with the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of Peter!
We had no idea -back in August of 2011- that we would be sitting down with the Holy Father for lunch, representing America in receiving the next World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. I was up late, reminiscing the good 'ol days of World Youth Day in Rome with Blessed John Paul II when I came across a link for family2012.com. The website was only in Italian at that time, but I copied and pasted its contents into Google Translator until I found out that the next WMF was in Milan in June of 2012. I woke my wife (it was around 1a.m.) and told her, "God's calling us to Milan! We are going for the World Meeting of Families with Pope Benedict XVI!" We received the call at that time, said our "Yes" to the Holy Spirit and it certainly was done unto us according to His will!
I took my wife and five children on my back and on Faith, we headed out with little luggage, many diapers and a whole lot of Prayer. (There will be Graces waiting in Milan, and if God wills that we receive some of them, then we will make it there, if not, so be it.) Eventually, despite the financial and logistical challenges and setbacks along the way, we made it to the Mass and More! We asked for an inch and God provided a mile! Thank you, Father in Heaven for your Providence. Thank you, Jesus, for your love and mercy in our lives. Thank you, Holy Spirit for being our advocate, our guide and our strength as we made this miracle-filled journey!
Saint Padre Pio, Pray for Us!