Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Note on Vatican Weather

At the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005, heavy clouds suddenly parted and the sun shone. I was above St. Peter's Square atop the Bernini colonnade and the sensation was pretty spooky. Condoleezza Rice was among the dignitaries below and, as she wrote in her memoir, she noticed it, too. (Neither of us are Catholics, btw.)
The day Pope Benedict XVI announced he would resign, a huge thunderstorm rolled in over the Vatican and lightning hit the dome of St. Peter's several times....
The day the conclave met to choose a new pope, almost at the very minute the cardinals were convened, there was a hailstorm.
The night they made their decision all of us in the square were soaked. It had been pouring all day. But before the new pope, Francis, stepped out on the balcony, the rain stopped completely.
Today we'll be watching the weather closely for his first angelus before what's expected to be a huge crowd. ....
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