Sunday, July 13, 2014

146. ... Sunday in Rome ...

A late start this morning and I head out into my street with the intent to visit another gallery on the other side of the Tiber - after my morning cafe latte and sweet-treat of course - pretty much the same routine as any other day here in glorious Rome ...


  
But out in the street there is quite a surge of pedestrian traffic heading in one direction - down towards Saint Peter's Basilica just ten minutes down the road ...

   
So I follow the mob - and as we merge into the Square I remember what day it is and what time it is - and yes it's Sunday and it's getting pretty close to midday ...

  
Everyone around me is gazing is up to a tiny window in one of the Vatican buildings with a small banner hanging beneath it ... within fifteen minutes the crowd swells to many thousands - then a single bell peels - the crowd starts cheering - and a tiny figure appears at the window we are all looking at - the crowd breaks into enthusiastic applause then falls silent ... 

  
This is Pope Francis giving his usual Sunday address and blessing to the faithful, the curious and all the riff-raff tourists caught in the moment. 

His address was in Italian of course - but after the blessing, he did send greetings in several other languages, all except English - so I had absolutely no idea of what was said - it could have been a rant or a revel - I guess I'll never know - but I can only wish that it was about hope, charity and love.   

Francis is the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European Pope since Pope Gregory III in 741, 1,272 years earlier. Let's hope he is the first Pope to bring the Roman Catholic church into line with 21st century thinking and that he is able to use his influence to bring about peace and goodwill in all our troubled lands.