Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Birthday Pictures

It's a bit late (exam time is upon me), but here are some pictures from the Mass in honor of the Holy Father's 80th birthday. The piazza was packed and everyone was glad just to be with Papa Benedetto. My friend Maria read the first reading. I had no idea that this was on the program, so when I saw her face on the giant screen, I was dumbfounded. Here she is on the steps (I'd know that red hair anywhere):

The reading was from Acts and it focused on the "shadow of Peter."

An excerpt from the Pope's homily:

In the first Reading of this Sunday, we are told that in the early days of the nascent Church, people brought their sick to the public squares, so that when Peter passed by, his shadow could fall on them. To that shadow, they attributed a healing power.

Indeed, the shadow came from the light of Christ and therefore, it carried in it something of the power of Divine goodness. Peter's shadow, through the Catholic church, has fallen across my life from the very beginning, and I learned that it is a good shadow - a healing shadow because, precisely, it ultimately comes from Christ Himself.

Peter was a man with all the weaknesses of a human being, but above all, he was a man full of passionate faith in Christ, full of love for Him. Through his faith and his love, Christ's healing power, his unifying force, has reached all men even through all the weaknesses of Peter. So let us look for Peter's shadow even today, in order that we may be in the light of Christ.

The banner in this picture says Holy Father We Catholics In China Love You!

If the young man had been facing me, I would not have put his picture on the internet. Better safe than sorry and all that.

I'd say the Holy Father drew a pretty decent crowd:

Like I said, everyone was happy just to get a glimpse of our Holy Father:

Buon cumpleano, Benedetto! May your shadow never grow less!

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