Friday, April 01, 2005

Serene, But Gravely Ill

The Pope is serene but gravely ill. He has chosen to remain in his apartments at the Vatican. The news networks are now looking to what would occur should the Pontiff pass away.

My brother Vaughn and I visited Rome in 1980, just 2 years after John Paul had become the Pope. We were sightseeing when I overheard 2 young women discussing in Spanish that they'd better leave off their sightseeing and get over to the Vatican so they could see the Pope at his Thursday appearance at St. Peters. At that point I interupted and inquired how to get to the Vatican. The two girls, daughters of Argentinian diplomats, said "Easy - go down to the corner and catch Bus 61!"

So we did. That was the most crowded bus I'd ever ridden on, even the ones in the middle of Guadalajara. One of those hang on while you hang out bus rides, full of chattering people with only one thing on their mind - Il Papa!

We were rewarded. The Pope came out, spoke a short sermon and blessing, then conversed and sang in the various languages of the very large crowd assembled in the square. Most memorable to me: the contingent from Mexico; a busload of 15 year-old girls, all dressed in white lace and satin and chiffon, who had travelled all that way to celebrate their quincean~eras at the center of the Catholic universe.

Today nearly a quarter century later, the Pope rests peacefully at the end of the 3rd longest papacy
in history. Link to the Catholic World News here.

No comments: