Others have blogged about this event. We were happy to experience it for ourselves this year. The weather was quite beautiful. Again, thankfully different from the wet Canonization Mass on Sunday. We arrived an hour ahead of time and the square in front of St. John Lateran was already full of people. Barriers were in place and people were lined up and down the Via Merulana.
We took the bus to the Square which was packed with several priests and nuns, especially interesting was a group of Brigittines with their distinctive headdress. We were quite squished in the bus and after we got off, the Brigittines were walking at too fast a clip to take a snapshot.
While I was waiting for a friend to arrive by the Baptistery, I chatted with some tourists who weren't aware of what event it was but had come to St. John Lateran hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope. Their guide was telling them that there was no way to see him there. So they were ecstatic to find out that, yes, indeed, the Pope was coming and he was celebrating Mass and that we would be following him in procession.
Here are some of the better pictures that I took. Forgive the fuzziness of some of them. It's difficult to take candlelight pictures without flash while moving.
An hour before Mass at St. John Lateran
Before the Mass
At the end of Mass, there is quiet while the Pope kneels in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament
Getting into place
The Pope aboard his canopied prie dieu, monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament in place to lead us.
Processing down Via Merulana.
All too soon we arrive at St. Mary Major. In the center of the picture is the facade of the Basilica and the bell tower.
At the Benediction
Time to disperse
Saying goodbye before the summer break