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Lynne Meets the Pope & Carries His Remarkable Blessings

This blog post is from Lynne Twist. In it, she shares her direct experience of meeting Pope Francis, learning about his initiatives on behalf of Nature and Indigenous people, and what it was like to be inside the Vatican.

I am overflowing with inspiration and gratitude.

I have just arrived home from a wonderful trip to Rome to see our son Basil who is there on a fellowship. It was a beautiful family vacation; and also, we had some incredible opportunities that were nothing short of miraculous.

Through one of our colleagues in Ecuador, Ramiro Crespo—a high level business leader who sits on the Board of Directors for the Pachamama Alliance’s work in Ecuador—we had the opportunity to meet the Ambassador to the Vatican from Ecuador, Jose Luis Alvarez. Jose Luis is an absolutely spectacular guy, and he became very engaged with us and the work of the Pachamama Alliance. He arranged for my husband and Pachamama Alliance co-founder, Bill Twist and myself to meet with the five key Ambassadors to the Vatican from Amazonian countries—Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil. We met with all of them at once, created a relationship, and informed them about the work of the Pachamama Alliance and our commitment to protect the Sacred headwaters of the Amazon.

The Pope and the Environment

As you may know, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, is the first time any Pope in history has addressed and taken on the issue of the preservation of the natural world. (For more information on Laudato Si, please click here.)

In addition, last July, Pope Francis met privately with a delegation of our indigenous partners from the Amazon. They asked him to rescind the “Papal Doctrine of Discovery” which dates back to 15th Century Popes who mandated the explorers to essentially go to the New World, take the land and enslave or kill the local people. Indigenous people have asked the last three Popes to rescind that doctrine; and, up until last year, nothing happened.

However, at that meeting in July, Pope Francis agreed to rescind the Papal Doctrine of Discovery.

We are told that that meeting was key and it inspired Pope Francis to rethink the Church’s relationship with the Amazon, as well as, the Church’s relationship with Indigenous people. As a result, Pope Francis has committed to convene a synod (an assembly of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church) in October, 2019. This synod will have a focus on protecting the Amazon and addressing the needs of the Indigenous people who inhabit that vital eco-system.

We were able to discuss the synod with the Ambassadors and to get there take on what is possible there. It was amazing.

An Audience with Pope Francis

Then, Jose Luis, the Ecuadorian Ambassador to the Vatican, arranged for us to participate in an audience with Pope Francis. My husband, Bill had to get back to the USA that day so he could not come; however I was able to bring our son, Basil.

I want to share with you the amazing moments Basil and I had with Pope Francis. We were so so fortunate and blessed, and I feel that it is my responsibility to pass on that blessing to you.

Here is how it was…

Basil and I were given very precious “document-like” invitations arranged for us by the “Holy See.” We arrived at a private gate to the Vatican very early on Wednesday morning, January 9th, 2019. There were thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square. We were escorted through all kinds of security, down some special corridors, past long lines of pilgrims, and finally, into a room behind the stage of the Pope’s “Great Hall.”

We were welcomed by the Swiss Guards and the Pope’s personal ushers and staff who wear formal deep purple long coats and white ties and medals. Then, we were brought into the gigantic hall and placed in the front row of the “Wednesday Audience” of about 2,000 people. This took place in a HUGE auditorium inside the Vatican City walls behind St. Peter’s Cathedral.

There were hundreds and hundreds of priests, nuns, students, pilgrims, monks, bishops, ministers and seekers from all over the world assembled in the audience. There were also about 50 brides and grooms in a special section—all of whom were wearing their full-on white wedding dresses and wedding suits. They were waiting to have their marriages blessed by Pope Francis. There were also dozens of Cardinals assembled in chairs on the stage waiting for the Pope in their elaborate finery. And, there was a choirs of monks and priests singing beautiful hymns as we all waited for the Pope to come.

The Pope Arrives

When he entered the Auditorium, Pope Francis came in from the back flanked by security and walked down the center aisle of the huge hall. When he came in, people cheered, jumped up and down, stood on their chairs, and cried. It was like a kind of “holy rock concert.”

The Pope greeted as many people as he could as he walked slowly down the center aisle of this huge auditorium, packed with ecstatic people, babies, mothers, disabled people in wheelchairs, monks, nuns, priests, buddhists, muslims, all kinds of amazing people—every color, size, age and faith.

Then, when he reached the front of the hall, he walked up the steps to a grand stage and sat in his chair to address the crowd.

We were so so blessed to hear his beautiful message of courage and hope which was then translated into nine languages—one by one—each by a different Cardinal from a different country.

After that, Pope Francis came down from his throne-like chair toward the crowd and walked over to the brides and grooms’ special section and tenderly blessed every single couple.

Then, he headed toward us. It was such a thrill to watch him as he generously spoke to each one of the approximately 40 people who were seated in our special cordoned-off section right in the front.

Receiving and Passing On the Pope’s Blessings

When he came to Basil and me, I took his hand in both of mine and he took my hands in both of his and I thanked him, through my tears, for his brilliant encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si.” I told him that we are so so blessed to work closely with the indigenous people of the Amazon. I told him that all of us at Pachamama Alliance are deeply grateful for his commitment to rescind the “doctrine of discovery.” I told him how blessed and grateful we are that he will convene a synod in October on protecting the Amazon and empowering the indigenous people in that most critical part of the world. And, I thanked him for his humility, courage, leadership, and profound love for humanity and the Earth.

I felt his unconditional love, his blessing, and the immense grace of being in his presence.

Then, he moved to Basil, my son, and I watched him look deeply into Basil’s eyes and soul as he blessed him as well.

It was incredibly moving to be with Pope Francis. He is the embodiment of humility, grace, and unconditional love. He is overflowing with kindness and joy. He seemed to have boundless energy, and it is clear that he loves nothing more than being with the people.

Basil and I are so grateful. This was an unforgettable “silver box” experience that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.

I feel l like I was there to carry his blessing to all of us.

With love and immense gratitude,

16 Responses to Lynne Meets the Pope & Carries His Remarkable Blessings

  1. Inga:

    You are just one giant heart for the world Ms. Lynne Twist!!—I just read your beautiful sharing w Jack —to which he replied, “ and she says she can’t write” followed by, “ tell her to put that In Her book.”
    We love you, honor you and send you love from TLC❤️❤️
    Inga and Jack

  2. Cherie G Dinoia:

    Wow Lynne….I am moved to tears…for your experience with Basil…but especially for the indigenous people. Thank you for so beautifully and gracefully representing all of us, your friends, in thanking Pope Francis for his courage and integrity.

  3. Bryan Miller:

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing Lynne!

  4. shana parker:

    Lynne, your blog brought me to tears. A snapshot of what we all long for: sanity, community, commitment to our precious earth rippling up and down the tributaries of the world. Thank you for carrying our message into the halls of power and compassion. We are all behind you sending love and energy for your continued carrying of the torch of unity.

    • Kim Grossman:

      Dear Lynne. Among other things, you’re a fine narrative writer. You’re reporting had me feeling I was right there with you! It evoked and created within me experiences similar to those you had at the Audience. I am not a religious man, but clearly Pope Francis is a Holy Man, not unlike the Dalai Lama. Continue your Noble Work.


      Kim G.

  5. Thank you for sharing such yoi profoundly beautiful and deeply moving experience. Pope Francis radiates immense heartfelt compassion and genuine humility and I’m sore he sensed the same in you. Thank you for sharing his blessing, grace and goodness.

  6. Dear Lynne,

    I, too, was moved by tears in reading your story of meeting with the Pope. I heard him speak one Sunday last fall at St. Peter’s Square. Although he spoke in Italian, the feelings of love and inclusion were powerful as I stood amongst tens of thousands in the Square.

  7. I love your dance on this plane, Lynne, and on this planet. You are rocking with grace. What a heavenly victory. Thanks for sharing it with us. With love from your one-time plane ride mate–Polly

  8. Thank you, dear Lynne, for sharing this exquisite experience. I, too, have tears in reading it – of joy and deep peace knowing there are new possibilities happening thanks to your deep commitment to our indigenous brothers and sisters. Thanks for bringing this Holy Being more deeply into my awareness and for representing us so beautifully. Much love to you.

  9. Clare Kubota:

    Thank you for sharing. He is a beautiful man. So glad you had this wonderful opportunity to meet him face to face.

  10. Lynne—-your naming of the “silver box” experience instantly game me a name for those moments. Thanks for sharing so freely—-all of you—-and the depth and joy of this sacred experience meeting the Pope. And…I have a hunch that the blessing, gazing, being with in love——was mutual. Because as you’ve taught me——we are always both the giver and the receiver. With love and gratitude and hope, Lynn

  11. Vikas Bhatia:

    Hi Lynne,

    I am typing this through welled up eyes and a lump in my throat. This was beautiful to read. You painted such a vivid picture that I felt I was transported back to the Vatican which I have had the privilege to visit. And more than everything, you painted such a beautiful picture of your vision of the world and how Pope Francis is aligned behind it and blessing it. I am so thrilled to hear his decision to rescind the Doctrine of Discovery. Thanks for your beautiful words and your beautiful work.

  12. Pope Francis is a great soul, a bodhisattva, and so are you Lynn Twist. Heartfelt gratitude for all you do to protect and honor our living Earth, and the wisdom, both ancient and new, of our indigenous brothers and sisters. You embody the energy of a collective awakening that is sweeping through many hearts and helping to propel us toward the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. In the spirit of all who serve, my own beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, and our precious Wise Ones everywhere, thank you.
    Rhonda Fabian, Editor | Kosmos Journal

  13. Cheryl Ramette (formerly Tannenbaum):

    Thank you, Lynne. You are such a beacon of love, love in action.

  14. Your share gave me chills and formed soft little pools of water in my eyes. I could feel how touched you were, electrified by the loving power of this experience. So many loving forces are coming together at this time to remind us who we really are. Thank you, and Bill, and Basil, for all the ways you give yourselves to this unfolding. Big big hugs to you.

  15. Dearest Lynne and Basil!! I am so deeply impressed by this report. This too brought me to tears. I am so grateful that you were there and able to connect with the truly remarkable Pope Francis whom i have admired for his work. This renews my commitment to embody a life of “humility, grace and unconditional love”. Thank you for your ongoing work in the Amazon. Sending both you and Basil all the love in my heart.

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