Encounters – Pope Francis and the infioratori of Spello

infioratori di spello

Miracles are to be recognized in the unexpected joys that happens every day.
I have the honor, for about a year, to be an Infioratore of Spello (card 740), which fills me with pride and that allowed me, today, to be full of pain in the whole body but also of great happiness.
The President of the Association, and dear friend, Guglielmo Sorci, gave me one of the most intense (and exhausting) days of all my life, giving me the opportunity to participate in the realization of the Infiorata on the occasion of the visit of Pope Francis in Assisi.
Each of us Infioratori came home with a wealth of memories and feelings that I do not think we will be able to forget.
The uniqueness of the Pope’s visit to Assisi is known, but the chorus of people to attend the event in Spello is amazing.
On October 3rd, the eve of the arrival of the Pope, a large number of people in Spello has helped to load what was necessary for the realization of the Infiorata, wanting to participate in every way, and giving their contribution, in homage to the Pope who has been able to steal the hearts of all, even of the least “practitioners “, with its exceptional frankness and simplicity.
In the afternoon, the avant-garde arrived in the churchyard of St. Rufino, and began to mount the protective structure and to set the design to the ground.
A huge number of Infioratori, eighty, from the most different  groups, gathered in Assisi to accomplish together a work that, in hindsight, is legendary.
Infioratori always rivals have worked all night and the next morning in perfect harmony and common purpose in creating a work worthy for the long-awaited guest.
During the night long, hard and quite cold, the mood alternated with fatigue, but the smile on the faces is never gone.
From morning standing attached to the railing along our Flower Festival, to admire it, photograph it, to predict and fantasize about the passage of the Pope, Guglielmo prepared a T-shirt, a bookmark and a commemorative cap, in the hope of being able to pay homage to the Pope, and fantasizing about the remote possibility of him wearing his cap .
When the  Popemobile arrived, broke the delirium of cries of acclamation at the sight of the Pope everyone called him, invoked him, greeted him, and he, as many had expected, instead of walking in the middle of the churchyard on the Infiorata, walked down the barriers, toward us.
He smiles at everyone and extends his hand in greeting and gratitude and appreciation, he is smiling in front of me and holds out his hand, and I, that I’ve always fantasized about what I could tell him in a similar situation, all that I said was, ” pass over it !” … Giulio manages to stop him, to make him wear the hat and exhort with greater vehemence. Francesco resists, says that all that work is not in his honor, but the honor of God, and he make a tribute to the Madonna. Only seeing that bodyguards and photographers, much less respectful than him, which already were treading on the job, persuaded him, and to make us happy mentions two timid steps , and immediately retracts.
Then he  continues on his way, leaving us in disbelief , stunned , dazed with happiness, while still find it hard to believe that all this really happened.
We went to pay homage to the Pope and he paid tribute, with his humble and respectful attitude to the entire city of Spello and to all those who have worked at every title and according to their possibilities this Flower Festival.
This has been an experience, that marked us , taught us, and that we will keep forever.

by Benedetta Tintillini

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