Emotions intersect, swirl. As they leave the Little Sisters of the Poor house in the 3rd arrondissement of Marseille, Sandra and Nadia are at a loss for words. “It’s a miracle for me to meet him: for the rest of my life I will be able to say: yes I saw him, I saw the pope!” says Sandra, tremors in her voice. Nadia, dressed in a beige veil with embroidered polka dots, sums up this meeting: “I feel great peace, I leave full of hope”. However, a few days ago, she admitted to us that she was afraid of being intimidated by Pope Francis.
This morning, Saturday September 23, they met the Pope with around twenty other people in precarious situations. “I am a citizen of the northern districts of Marseille; It is true that I encounter difficulties, but like others elsewhere,” confides Nadia. At his side, Sandra sheds a tear: “my greatest weakness, my greatest precariousness, is my health”. Although the meeting with François lasted only a few minutes, the two members of Massabielle, a Christian association established in the disadvantaged neighborhoods of Marseille, were able to give him drawings made with other friends of Maison Bernadette, which represent the Mediterranean. From the Pope, they received a rosary. When they saw the Holy Father, the stress suddenly went down. Because when she got up that morning, Nadia had a little knot in her stomach: “I said to myself: that’s it, today is it: I’m going to see the pope. But as soon as he entered the room, I felt a great peace, a calming, even if he looked tired.
A few days ago, this mother hesitated to talk about this meeting around her. Today, she wants to share what she experienced: “I didn’t want to be influenced by everyone’s opinions. Now I want to share his words about unity and brotherhood. He spoke simply to us, showing great humility, by coming here, to our neighborhoods. Plus he knew Massabielle!” In Marseille, the mistral has risen: the meeting is over but Nadia and Sandra are not about to let the unforgettable memory of this privileged exchange disappear.