Popes and Swiss Guards


Swiss Guard Hotties

“What’s all that commotion?”

Cheering! Yelling! The crowd of hundreds rushes forward. Is it a rock star? we wondered.

No, it was the pope giving his weekly address.

Sean and I had been waiting in a loooooong line at St Peters Cathedral a few months back (seriously, we were like number 1,000 in the line) when the most recent Pope greeted the crowd during his weekly Sunday address. We had forgotten about this ritual, so it was exciting to be there at the right time.


The masses outside St Peter’s Cathedral

A little window opened up, and there stood the pope. It was really quite amazing, like on the level of seeing a Hollywood celebrity. I mean, he’s the leader of the Catholic Church, right? And there he was in that little window talking in multiple languages.

I wish I could say I was moved by his message. But actually, there was a strange echo after he spoke, so it was a little creepy to hear his voice, and then a reverberation of his voice.



Even so, I considered it an excellent opportunity for sociological observation. I happened to glance around at the crowd during all this, and people were in rapt attention to what he was saying. He spoke for only a few minutes, and then POOF! He was gone.

In my life, I’ve seen a short list of celebrities in person. Susan Sarandon, Robert Duvall, Bruce Willis strangely three times… and now I can add the most recent pope to my list.

This experience was all the more meaningful and memorable to me because of his decision to step down from the position.

The downside, however, was that after waiting for nearly an hour, we lost our place in that loooong line.


Are you following any of the secret conclave action on TV? Be honest… are you worried about an infiltration by the Illuminati?


10 thoughts on “Popes and Swiss Guards

  1. Hey Mary,

    Funny that I’m reading a post about Rome, as I have to be there next week, and prices of hotels are higher and there’s not much availability in the hotels I would like to stay at, so I’m going to have to make do with what I get. We’re flying there, rather than taking the train….go figure that the train is more expensive than flying.

    As for the whole “Pope” hoopla thing…I wish it would just end so I can have a peaceful trip .-).

    The pics of the guards puts a smile on my face. I remember trying to stupidly pass through them one time in Rome. Of course, they didn’t let me :-).

    p.s. it’s rainy, damp and cold. There’s no sun here either.

    xo R

    • maryrichardson

      Wow, I’m surprised the train is more expensive… I hope you have a fabulous time. I really do love Rome. I know a lot of people don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle there, but I think it’s gorgeous!

  2. Well, he is Argentinian. Hopefully he’ll be able to sort out the mess the national football team is in. How about bringing Messi as a forward to the Vatican? 🙂

    Lovely post. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Cuban,
      Thanks for stopping by! It will be interesting to see what happens in Italy with football and other matters!

  3. stevebloom2

    What a great experience this would be. I’m not a very religious person, but still it would be fun to be there. I’m sure you could feel the excitement growing in the crowd.

    I have to say, hearing him speak with the reverberations would have been a weird thing to hear. I bet it did sound a little creepy.

    • maryrichardson

      Thanks Steve! I’m glad we were there at the right time! Who knows if I will ever see another Pope again in my life?

  4. Pingback: When in Rome | World Curious Traveler

  5. Pingback: Roma, Day 2 | World Curious Traveler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s