Sunday, March 05, 2006
Viva Il Papa!
The highlight of the trip. O M G! The Piazza filled with thousands, singing, clapping. Chants of "Ben-e-detto Ben-e-detto!" ... and then, precisely at noon, he appears to a rousing roar. There follows the little speech (full text here in English) in Italian, then the Angelus itself. Greetings to various groups from different countries ... recognizing various parish and other groups. One Roman parish is particularly loud -- "Son' forti!" he laughs ("they're strong!"). His English sounds like a stereotypical German professor's -- "Now greetingz to ze Inglish-shpeaking pilgrimz ... " Then the closing prayer and the apostolic blessing. More raucous shouting. I put forth a "Viva il Papa!" at the top of my voice. We're all so excited to see him! Oh my word, I love this man!