Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
A friend of mine once touched the Pope's hand - and swore he wouldn't ever wash his hands again, because he was so overcome by the experience. His mother and his siblings said it wouldn't matter, because he never washed his hands anyway.
These shots of the famous statue of Pope John Paul II were taken some months ago, in the grounds of the Cathedral Of The Good Shepherd in Singapore.
But yes, I have a Pope story too. Back in the days when Mrs Authorblog flew around the world as a flight attendant with an international airline, she found herself in Rome on a wonderfully appropriate day. It was the day that Pope John Paul II was due to celebrate Mass.
For any good Catholic, this was (and still is) a no-brainer. As in, throw out all your plans, toss your appointment book aside, forget about ringing the boyfriend (er, that was me, or more grammatically, it was I) and just concentrate on getting to Mass on time.
But one of the crew members accompanying the beautiful Mrs Authorblog on that Boeing 747 to Rome was our best friend. Her best friend. And my best friend. So the two women who were closest and dearest to me got into a serious discussion about their options for the auspicious day.
They could do the right thing and go to the Pope’s Mass. Or they could kick up their heels and head off in the other direction, to the local flea markets.
The way I’ve heard the story told, the discussion didn’t take too long.
At the end of the day, they caught up with the other members of the crew at their hotel. Their colleagues had stars in their eyes, a hymn on their lips and renewed faith in their hearts.
All the talk was about the Pope. At the end of the evening, one of the crew members realised that Mrs Authorblog and her best friend, normally very animated human beings, had not really said much about seeing the head of the Catholic church.
So one of them asked what the Daring Duo had thought of the Mass.
Mass? No, they hadn’t gone to the Mass. They had gone to the flea market instead.
Well, the reaction was of pure, unadultered horror. It was one of those situations where the smelling salts are called for. But the story doesn't end there. After the Daring Duo were eventually forgiven for their transgression, they were quizzed about what they had bought.
Among the purchases, they had each bought matching black skirts. The manufacturer's label on each skirt said it all. The label said: "Jesus".
Maybe the Pontiff would have approved.
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