On Christmas Eve we headed over to the basilica for mass.  Ultimately, we didn’t get tickets to go inside but we sat outside (it was freezing) and watched on big screens.  The following day we headed over for the mid-day blessing, which was completely packed, as you can see from the pictures.  The Swiss Guard came out and played some music while lining up in formation right outside the doors.  And then the pope came out.  And it was great because I understood the general idea of what he was saying in Italian.  It made me very happy.  (taken 25.12.2014)