Today I along with around 100 thousand others filed into St. Peter’s square to watch as Papa Benedict gave his final mass.
It’s a very exciting time to be living in Rome, and being part of this piece of history was a must for me. I have been to two Papal blessing before three including this one, and still can’t manage to understand the celebrity status of The Pope, not in the sense of why he is so popular, but how people react. The chanting, instrument playing, screaming, signs that reach metres in length, the dressing up, today I did spot a group of 20 plus in lederhosen and dirndls what significance that has other than The Pope being German I have no idea. To me it is something that resembles a sporting match rather than a religious gathering.
Today, although Papa Bene did look out of it and not too healthy at all, he got in the back of his popemobile and looped around the square, before taking to his altar where he read what seemed to be quite the personalised speech. There was also a Papal tweet minutes after his closing sentence.
Hundred of media from all over the world were scouting for talent and I have fears of how many news stories I’ll appear in the background of. However I did spot a group of four Americans, totally oblivious to the going on’s, as one said “I don’t think this is the line to get into St. Peters” another asked for information, returning to say “it’s closed this is something to do with the Pope”. Before sighing and walking off. I was a little mortified.
The first Pope to retire in over 600 years, he will still wear the white outfit, although giving up his special red Papal shoes and will now be referred to as ‘His Holiness Benedict XVI’ and I’m able to say I was here for it, living merely a block from The Vatican.
I will be waiting to see the smoke that tells us a new pope has been elected so I can be part of another rarity in The Eternal City.