Alone, absorbed in intense prayer at his predecessor’s tomb. It was in this way that Pope Francis wished to pay homage to Pope Paul VI on the day of the 35th anniversary of his death. Just after two o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, 6 August, from the entrance in Largo Braschi the Pope went down to Paul VI’s tomb in the Vatican Grottos, where he remained absorbed in his own deeply personal remembrance.
A little later Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo, who comes from Brescia and holds Paul vi in high esteem, celebrated a commemorative Mass at the Altar of the Chair in which numerous fellow-citizens of Paul VI took part, as well as a large throng of the faithful who still cherish in their heart memories of the years they spent in Rome.
Among the faithful were about 60 young people, members of a vocations group of the Diocese of Brescia, who wished to pay tribute to their Pope by coming on foot from Poggio Bustone. It was a miscellaneous group in the sense that it was made up of engaged couples, newlyweds, would-be seminarians, seminarians, catechists and young people on a spiritual journey in search of their Christian identity.
After taking part in the memorial Mass for Paul VI they expressed their desire to meet Pope Francis. On being informed of their request, he accepted it with pleasure. And he told them so himself when just after six o’clock in the evening he came down to meet them outside Santa Marta: “Thank you so much for this visit. It is lovely and it gives me great pleasure”.
St. Peter’s Square
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