Papa

Standard

Well, we’re in Rome, and it was Sunday, and it was the only Sunday in July we could do this, because our target was waltzing around Lampedusa and Brazil the rest of the month, and we thought why not, and walked the two kms to the metro, paid our 1 euro fifty, and rode the four stops necessary, getting out with hundreds of others, and together we followed the signs, and walked up the wide streets, spilling off the footpaths and onto the roads, and as we got closer, the crowds grew, the police presence became more noticeable, and baby-faced young men who have barely begun shaving watched us as we walked past the gates they were guarding, and their comical harlequin-style uniforms just cried out to be photographed, but we couldn’t linger, as we were on a mission, and so walked on, with the crowds, the tourists, the locals – because they were curious too –  the couples on vacation, the noisy teenagers on a summer break, the families trying to keep track of all the off-spring, and the large groups getting in everyone’s way, a myriad languages swirling about us, until we finally made it to our destination, only to find that about ten thousand people (or maybe more – who can count that far?) had got there before us, and as we were finding a place to stand, the crowd gasped and cheered, and we hurried to get to a good viewing spot, where we could see him, but then realised that we found the crowd just as interesting as whatever it was he was saying (though at the end he departed from his ritual script and spoke simply, clearly, in Italian – which is after all his second language too – and I was proud that I could understand much of what he was saying, or at least the gist of it anyway), and the crowd cheered and crossed themselves, and we took photos, and here they are.

Swiss Guard

Swiss Guard

A crowd waits in anticipation, in front of St Peter's Basilica

A crowd waits in anticipation, in front of St Peter’s Basilica

Who/what are they taking so many photos of?

Who/what are they taking so many photos of?

Snap happy

Snap happy

A window opened, and the crowd gasped

A window opened, and the crowd gasped

And he spoke to the masses

And he spoke to the masses

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4 responses »

  1. I don’t care whether you’re a believer or not, there’s something magical about being in the crowd of people when the Pope appears. Whether it’s just a weekly blessing or a mass – it doesn’t matter. We were lucky enough to see Pope John Paul II say midnight mass at Christmas. I don’t know if I’ll make it back to Rome again in my lifetime, but I doubt it will be for Christmas, so that was an experience I’ll probably never have again.

  2. Fantastic! (and I just wrote a single-sentence post in my head on Saturday, which has not made it onto virtual paper as of yet.)

  3. Very cool! We were watching replays of the papal Easter blessing one years at FIL’s & he told us he was in St. Peter’s Square on Easter Sunday in 1951 when he was in Rome with the Italian Army. I am not Catholic but I would love to go there someday. The art, the architecture, the colonnade…!

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