April 11, 2005

The pope's funeral, a worm's-eye view

A good friend of mine, who was married at Christmas and has since been living and travelling in Europe, is currently in Rome, having arrived in Italy just in time to find out that the pope had died. He and his wife were two out of the millions who invaded the Vatican to see the pope's funeral. In an email, he wrote:

We arrived last night and attempted to get into the viewing at the Vatican, but we couldn't get in. Instead we got up this morning at 5am and made our way to the square . . . the funeral started at 10am and were one of the first thousands to get in . . . the crowds were unbelievable!!! The only thing you can hope to do is stay on your feet. The funeral ended at 2pm so we were standing in a crowd for over 9 hours by the time we got back to our hotel . . . It was a neat experience seeing a part of history unfold firsthand. (edited slightly for spelling)

Meanwhile, from a little higher off the ground, this was the view on Friday morning, captured from CITY-TV's live coverage:

[St. Peter's Square, seen from atop the basilica]

Is St. Peter's Square shaped like a keyhole on purpose, or is it just a weird coincidence? (Cf. Matt. 16:16-20, esp. v. 19.)