Italy & Portugal


“A window opened above Saint Peter's Square, and immediately the crowd turned its collective head. Amidst applause, hushes, and "Look!" in at least five audible languages, I saw a man in white wheeled to the balcony. We were at least a quarter mile away, and still his frailty reached the eye. His voice was so slurred throughout the whole address I couldn't understand one word of his Italian, but he trudged through it, even mustering some strength to sing before his assistants had to help him. What impressed me most was not Pope John Paul himself--but rather that thousands of people from so many backgrounds and so many faiths kept their eyes trained on a faraway balcony just to catch a glimpse of a man who could barely speak.” -May 2004