VATICAN CITY – Local 10 News reporter Nicole Perez was in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City April 17 ahead of Easter as Pope Francis addressed a large crowd, delivering a message of love, unity and forgiveness.
"The message of the Pope of course was amazing. His messages are always so deep," one person told Perez.
There were so many emotions from people all over the world who got their first glimpse of Pope Francis.
"You actually see the Pope as a person and then you can actually love him as a person rather than just a figure," one person said.
Greeting everyone country by country, the Pope gave pilgrims and visitors a chance to receive the papal blessing.
"Mainly I learned about forgiveness, and looking (at) my everyday life (and) what forgiveness is and how can I live with the message of forgiveness," one pilgrim said.
As he rode through the crowd in his Pope mobile, everyone wanted that split second chance just to say hi or have Pope Francis look them in the eye.
The energy at St. Peter's Square was amazing. There were so many people from all over the world waiting to his message.
"When the pope was passing in his car, I feel like all of my intentions I put in God's hands," one student said.
Young middle school students from Mexico and their priest were also among those who came to Rome, getting a once in a lifetime opportunity and they took advantage of it to the fullest.
"It's a moment of living our faith and seeing how Christ suffered and died for us on the cross," the priest told Perez. "He gave his life for us to open the gates of heaven."
And just two days after the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in France, Pope Francis thanked those who risked their lives to save the historic place of worship.
"Everyone who suffers from anguish and fear must know that the father is there," Francis said. "Very often we remain alone, not daring to say the word 'father,' but what we have to do is trust in our will that he is the ultimate good."
At the end of the papal address was a prayer from the Pope: the Our Father to everyone in attendance.
"It's astounding being in the same place where all these popes live and worked for so many years," one visitor said. "It's really just stupendous to be part of this faith."