During Monday’s papal blessing and Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis offered a particular welcome to the students “from the Franciscan institution Siena College in New York.”
Around 30 Siena students have been traveling in Italy since Dec. 27, making a final stop Monday at the Vatican before beginning their return trip home. The trip was focused on Franciscan leadership and traced the steps of the figures that Siena claims at its spiritual guides.
The Pope’s personal greeting came as a surprise to the Siena students, college officials said.
“Being in St. Peter’s Square among tens of thousands of other people and hear Pope Francis actually mention us by name was exciting,” Father Mark Reamer, who is leading the student trip, said in a video provided by the college.
Video of Pope Francis’ Angelus prayer, with Vatican Radio English translation, is available on the Vatican’s YouTube channel and cued up just before the Siena welcome below: