VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict slipped out of the Vatican unannounced for the first time in his papacy on Saturday, travelling to the same spot his predecessor did exactly 27 years ago to pray after being elected.
The Pontiff visited the shrine to the Virgin Mary at Mentorella, in the mountains about 55 km (34 miles) northeast of Vatican City, where Pope John Paul II went on Oct. 29, 1978.
John Paul had said that travelling to Mentorella, in what was the first the many pilgrimages outside Rome of his pontificate, had helped him to pray.
John Paul’s trip, however, was an official visit that drew thousands of pilgrims. There were only dozens present for Benedict’s surprise visit.
The Vatican did not offer many details, saying only that the German Pope had made a "private pilgrimage" to Mentorella and celebrated a mass in honour of the Madonna. The statement was released only after he returned to the Vatican.
"Nobody expected him to come. It was completely spontaneous," said a man answering the telephone at Mentorella, who described himself as a "pilgrim" and declined to be named.
The funniest thing about this story was the headline
Pope slips out of the Vatican for sneak trip. It makes it sound like the Pope had to give the Swiss Guard the slip to escape the Vatican. It must have been pretty cool for the people at the shrine to see the Pope there in an unannounced trip.
Well, I don’t suppose that those responsible for the Holy Father’s safety are crazy about the idea of his wandering around on his own. But, poor man. When you or I want to take a walk or go for a drive, we don’t have to clear it with Security.
Sorta like Shoes of the Fisherman starring Anthony Quinn.
Mentorella, where St Benedict lived, visited by Pope Benedict XVI, information on the shrine and images
Here’s some information about the shrine at Mentorella which Benedict XVI visited, as pointed out by Jeff Miller at Pope Benedict XVI visits the Virgin Mary at Mentorella.
St Benedict lived here, before Subiaco. The cave in which he lived is a place of pilgrimage. I sent you a trackback on your post.
Security was there. “Sneak trip” just means that the media and the shrine weren’t notified.
It is pretty funny, though.
“So who’s that little guy with all the tall guys around him? Boy, look at the dark circles under his eyes. Must have some bad allergies.”
(I wonder about that, actually, seeing as I know quite a few folks with southern German backgrounds who also have the perpetual dark circle thing. Like, say, me.)
The pope is full of “satan”, as in intestinal parasites. That’s the reason for looking so evil and having such darkened skin around his eyes.
This is described in the details in the (anti-religious) Essene Gospel of Peace. The actual “magical” WORDS of Jesus himself, what he said and taught. And that God is simply Mother Earth and Father sun, so that everything is a connection between the intangible concepts Light and Sound! Stars and planets/atoms and electrons;)
Everybody should google this.
The pope is anti-christ, as in anti-clean, since christ simply means clean in Hebraic. Nice!