24 November 2013

Pictures from the Papal Mass

Sometimes finding a quiet place to pray in the Basilica of Saint Peter can be a difficult endeavor, what with the seeming hoards of tourists scampering about to take a picture of a holy water font - and often blocking access to it - or moving about with their fellow tourists in one large mass like a school of fish, darting this way that.  I find myself frequently wondering if a great many of the tourists have ever been in a church before.  Such, however, is not the case in the hours preceding a Mass at which the Pope presides when the Basilica is closed to the public.

At such celebrations the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff always has need of priests to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.  Because of security and logistical concerns, our tickets instructed us to be at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the basilica at 9:00 a.m., with the Mass beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Without the crowds bustling by from one place to another or a great murmur of voices constantly rising or the light of hundreds of cameras continuously flashing, the vastness of the basilica is most impressive, particularly when you are free to wander about largely as you please.  We were allowed to do so for about forty-five minutes before we were corralled back in the Blessed Sacrament chapel - where they also had a vest - for our instructions and taken to our seats in the Square at about 10:00 .m., which allowed for a good opportunity to take a few pictures:

The Papal throne.

The altar.
The Madonna and Child.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

When I took my seat I found myself sitting behind two or three rows of tall priests who did not sit very still (being short in stature does have some disadvantages, though not many), which made seeing the Holy Father - despite him being straight in front of me - somewhat difficult.  Still, I did manage to get a few good shots of him (when the priests leaned just the right way):

Pope Francis sits for the first reading as Msgr. Marini gives instructions.

Pope Francis prepares to listen to the proclamation of the Gospel.
Pope Francis professes the Creed while holding the relics of Saint Peter.
All in all, my seat wasn't bad.


  1. Excellent photos Father. I'd say your seat was heavenly. Thanks for posting. Susan Fox www.christsfaithfulwitness.com