Yesterday morning Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the church of S. Anna, just inside the Vatican gates. S. Anna is the parish church for many of those who work in the Vatican, and for a few others. A couple of things were especially notable. First his homily for this Fifth Sunday of Lent:
Note too the remarkably informal, ‘parish-priest-like’ meeting and greeting the parishioners outside after Mass. He spent 35 minutes chatting informally to pretty much everyone who was at the Mass, then walked towards the gate to greet many who waited outside the S. Anna gate. He moved onto the street and into the crowd. (Note that in doing this he became perhaps the first pope in recent history to walk to Italy!)
He then returned to the sacristy to remove his vestments and appeared again, waving his car away and spending more time with people before finally getting into the car at 11.35am, just 25 minutes before he began the Angelus greeting and prayer from his study window.