Half way across the world Michigan football is making headlines led coach Jim Harbaugh, as he parades his family, friends and players on an educational trip throughout Rome.
Today, Harbaugh was front and center again, along with his wife, Sarah, and select players from his team, who had a chance to meet the Holy Father himself, Pope Francis.
Their rare encounter with the pope has already made headlines, but it has also made a profound connection with Sarah Harbaugh, who reflected on her interaction with the pontiff afterwards.
“You can see the pain in his eyes, ‘I need people, I need help.’ And so that’s something I would have never thought of before. I always thought to never pray for the pope. And that’s changed for sure. He needs our prayers, he’s all loving, you know, regardless of what religion you are he wants to help the world,” Sarah Harbaugh said, who further detailed her moment with the pope.
“And so it was a beautiful moment, and I feel not knowing if it was going to happen or not, still feeling amazed to be in his presence, but actually touching him. Oh, and I did kiss his hand. It was there, it was so soft, and I was like ‘OK, I got to do this.’ I didn’t know if I was going to get slapped. It was beautiful. It was amazing. I don’t even remember what Jim said, but it was a great moment.”
And, in case you were wondering, meeting the pope might be hard to top.
“It was amazing, it made my trip,” she said.
While meeting the pope surely was a moment to remember, Harbaugh admits, she was quick to note her husband’s reaction was a bit out of character himself after meeting the Holy Father.
“Afterwards when someone came to us for a statement, he couldn’t speak,” Harbaugh said of her husband. “He looked at me and I’ve never seen my husband lost for words. He said ‘you go.’ I couldn’t go either, but I felt like ‘OK, if he’s asking me then I got to say something.’ Who knows what I said. It was right afterwards, I was still very emotional, I was crying. Who knows, he was at a lost. He felt a true life changing experience as well.”