For the first time since the start of the pandemic, a circus again brings joy to general audience-goers.
Fire jugglers, acrobats, clowns, musicians… the Italian circus Rony Roller put on a performance for Pope Francis at the general audience on January 5. “Beauty pulls us up,” said the Pontiff as he thanked them for the show.
“This is a show that puts us in touch with beauty, and beauty pulls us up, always, beauty makes us go beyond. And beauty is a way to go to the Lord,” the Pope said, in thanking the some two dozen artists for the performance.
“Behind what they have done, behind this beauty, there are hours and hours of training, of work, to make such a show,” the Pope told the crowd, showing his admiration.
This was the first time since the pandemic that a circus has returned to the Vatican stage, the last being the Aqua Circus on January 8, 2020.
This is not the first time the Rony Roller Circus has collaborated with the Vatican: in January 2020, it performed for children hospitalized at the Bambino Gesù, the pediatric hospital run by the Holy See.
In January 2016, the show was offered to 2,000 homeless people, in connection with the apostolic chaplaincy. The troupe has already performed several times at the general audience, including February 22, 2017, February 7, 2018 and with Benedict XVI on January 18, 2006.
After almost two years of pause due to the pandemic, this circus of the Italian Vassallo family – which has had its name in the circus world since the 1930s – resumed its performances last November.