Saturday, October 29, 2005

Europe 2005 - Remembering Pope John Paul II

Christine and I were in Rome the day Pope John Paul II died. As Christine was brought up Roman Catholic, I thought the least I could do was to bring her to the Vatican since we were in Italy anyway. I have never liked congested Rome and we were on the train to Paris when the John Paul II passed away. In her heart, Christine wanted to go back to Rome but we both knew that it was logistically not possible.

A week later in London, the Polish community in London held an impromptu march for their hero, Pope John Paul II. For he was also instrumental in liberating Poland from communist rule. The Polish community arranged this march via SMS and web sites. Chris happened to find out about the march while looking for a remembrance service for the Pope on the net. At about 6.30 in the evening we were in Trafalgar Square looking at a handful of Polish people shivering in the rain, wondering if the march was for real. As Chris wanted to have a candle for the march, we popped into the nearby St. Martin's Cathedral and bought a candle from the gift shop. When we returned in half an hour, the entire Trafalgar Square was full of people. It was like magic.

After shooting so many Easter processions in Sicily, Chris and I were participating in a once in a life time procession for a very popular Pope. It was a cold evening and the candles kept blowing out. The people though were very warm and people kept sharing their candle flames.

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