Children from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Catholic schools, selected by lottery, waited patiently outside the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States. They stood under the shade of large trees on the front lawn and amused themselves with songs of faith and spirited chants.
They waved small Vatican flags and cheered each time the front door opened and even gave rousing applause to the many workers coming in and out.
They had special greetings for Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who blessed them and the rosaries they were holding.
As the motorcade approached, the energy level ramped up as the children waited for their special moment to connect with the Holy Father. Although his greetings were brief, the smiles on their faces were full of pure joy.
Pope Francis greeted different groups of schoolchildren upon his return from the midday prayer service and his departure for the canonization Mass. He even took a moment to wave to the media as he departed in his Fiat.