WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island couple on Tuesday had some advice for proper etiquette for those fortunate enough to meet and greet Pope Francis.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Meredith and Gary Krupp happen to be Jewish. But it just so happens that they have met with several popes.READ MORE: Residents Begin To Clean Up, Assess Damage After 2 Tornadoes Touch Down In Bucks County Leaving Path Of Destruction
“The pope came out with his arms like this. My husband went like this,” Meredith Krupp said as she spread her arms open, “and they embraced.”
Meredith and Gary Krupp have met with the last three popes – Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis – going back to 2000, when Gary Krupp was knighted for his philanthropic work on behalf of the Vatican.
“Only seven Jewish men have ever received this papal knighthood,” Gary Krupp said.
The Krupps have spent the last 15 years building a worldwide interfaith foundation called Pave the Way, TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported. The foundation is aimed at ending violence and wars in the name of God.
The Wantagh couple has been to the Vatican dozens of times since. But Meredith Krupp still remembers being apprehensive about meeting Pope John Paul II until he placed his hand on her shoulder.
“I said to myself and to Gary afterwards, ‘I don’t care what religion you are.’ You knew you were in the presence of a holy man,’” Meredith Krupp said.
“You call him Your Holiness,” Gary Krupp added. “Just smile and greet him.”READ MORE: Police Say Jonathan Perez, 34, Attacked 11-Year-Old Queens Girl, Made Sexually Threatening Statements
Gary Krupp said it is perfectly fine to try to shake the pope’s hand or hand a child over for a blessing, but one should not try to lurch forward past security.
“He’s always surrounded by people who will stop it, so if somebody is attempting to go to the pope, they’ll prevent that,” he said.
The Krupps said dressing appropriately is key too.
“As a woman, a black suit – something very, very conservative with long sleeves,” she said.
The Krupps added that there is no need to be intimidated since the pope wants to meet you too.
“You need to be respectful and just be yourself and enjoy the moment,” Gary Krupp said. “He’s great with that.”
“You are very, very special people to meet the pope,” added Meredith Krupp. “Just enjoy it.”
The Krupps will meet with Pope Francis again next month to present a specially-designed coin commemorating the pope’s trip to Jerusalem and the Holy Land.MORE NEWS: NYPD: 7 Gang Members Arrested In Bronx Car Dealership That Left Dad Injured As He Shielded His 3 Children
To see a complete schedule of the pope’s upcoming visit, click here.