Pope Francis Trades Caps with Boston College Students

I have got to go to Rome. I just want to see my Papa, even if it’s from a distance and I have to stand on tiptoes to get a glance.

Boston College students Katherine Rich and Ethan Mack, got a lot more than that. They actually traded caps with the Holy Father.

From The Boston Globe:

Two Boston College juniors walked away from the Vatican with a treasured memento Wednesday, after Pope Francis gave them his white papal skullcap.

Philosophy majors Katherine Rich and Ethan Mack, who are studying in Rome this semester, waited along the barricades with a skullcap, called a zucchetto, and a note attached that read, “Boston College loves our Jesuit pope,” the students of the Jesuit-run university said Thursday in e-mail messages from Rome.

“We thought he wouldn’t see us, but we both yelled, ‘Papa!’ and at that second he turned around, saw us, and asked the driver to stop,” said Rich, 20, a native of Minnetonka, Minn.

They extended the zucchetto, bought for 50 euros, or about $68, the night before near St. Peter’s Square, and the pope sent over a guard who carried it to him, they said.


Francis smiled at the note and donned the cap after making sure it was the right size, they said, then handed his own zucchetto to the guard.

“The pope then gave a nod and smiled right at us,” said Mack, 21, who is from Portland, Maine. “He took off with the one I bought, and the guard gave us his original one.”

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  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    That is just so cool. Maybe there’s something from the Oklahoma House of Representatives you can trade with him. Do you guys mint a coin? Or perhaps a small state flag? I would love to get one of his skull caps. I would wear it to the next bar mitzvah i get invited to. (My wife and her relatives are Jewish if I never mentioned that here.) How would that go over…lol?

    • hamiltonr

      It might generate some interesting dinner conversation.

      I could take something from my tribe. That might be different. :-)

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    http://fpb.livejournal.com/180480.html Here is a couple of photos of Pope Benedict wearing the headgear of the Italian mountain troops, the Alpini. It must have been made especially for him, since it bears the gold badge of a commander in chief. I have also seen him wearing a Mexican sombrero and a miner’s helmet. A museum of gifts given to Popes might show some amazing stuff,

  • Sus_1

    Thank you for this lovely post. I teared up when I saw the kids interviewed about it. They were so excited and grateful.

    I have heard some ugly talk about this from some Catholics that hate Boston College and the Pope. They think he should have shunned the kids because of the politics of BC.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Oh, and if and when you make time to go to Rome, let me know with a little advance. I’ll come down and show you around. I’m told I make a decent tourist guide.

    • hamiltonr

      That’s a beautiful offer Fabio. I’ll take you up on it!

      • Maggie Goff

        Lucky you!!

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Hey, Maggie, it’s open to you too. However, you have to get here – I can only offer the time and pleasure of walking around the place. When Horace Greeley – who was no fan of the Church – visited Rome in 1851, he said: “As to Sculpture and Painting, I am tempted to say that if mankind were compelled to choose between the destruction of what is in Rome or that of all the rest in the world, the former should be saved at the expense of the latter. Adequate conception of the extent, the variety, the excellence of the works of Art here heaped together is impossible. If every house on Broadway were a gallery, the whole six miles of them (counting both sides of the street) might be filled from Rome with Pictures, Statues, &c. of decided merit.”