Francis then prayed that “these two new saint pastors of the people of God might intercede for the Church, so that during this two years of synodal journey they may be docile to the Holy Spirit in their pastoral service to the family; that together they teach us not to be scandalised by the wounds of Christ, to enter into the mystery of the Divine Mercy that always hopes, always forgives, always loves.”
The celebration continued. The Consecration was a particularly moving moment to behold: Jesus held high in the hands of Pope Francis, our pastor and guide, surrounded by millions faithful, all silently gazing towards Him, united in His body.
Then as the Eucharist was received, the choir released a heavenly music into the air, and peaceful contemplation swept the stage.
Afterwards, the crowds joined Francis in singing the Regina Coeli, as he stood before her life-size statue, enshrined in white and gold roses.
The blessing was bestowed and Pope Benedict XVI greeted the people nearby him as he was assisted back to his Convent Mater Ecclesiae to return to prayer. Meanwhile Pape Francis got into his bright white popemobile and went to greet the people, first on the piazza and then all the way up the Via della Conciliazione. Elated cheers erupted on all sides, as the Holy Father took his time to pass all the faithful who had travelled from near and far and further still to be here today.
As always he was joyful and friendly, giggling and winking at all his brothers and sisters along the road. People threw gifts into his car as he went. One jumper was thrown right into his hands, which he caught, and laughing he said to the thrower “It’s for me?!”
The air was ringing with the cries of “Viva il Papa!” – “We love you Papa!”
Then Francis made his final farewells and headed back into the Vatican leaving the masses of pilgrims to spend the rest of the day in joyful celebration.