Wednesday, November 19, 2008

R Is For Religion

Pray Tell, This Is No Papal Bull

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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Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

33 comments:

Casdok said...

Lovely story and im sure he would!

Sandi McBride said...

Now that story is going to be appreciated by every woman who reads it. Papal bull indeed! You are clever David. But I think Mrs Authorblog may be more clever by at least half! She did, after all, find a skirt that was her saving grace!
Sandi

Moannie said...

I guess it is what you have in your heart that matters.

Verification word is cardi...now wouldn't that have been a coincidence...cashmere of course.

spacedlaw said...

It all depends on the length...

Leslie: said...

I never saw him when he was alive, but as we were ushered through the crowds in the catacombs, I did manage to get a shot of his resting place. That was quite the experience and I'm not even Catholic.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

The pope came to Canterbury one day in June around 1980..My husband and sister went to stand with the throng..I had to work all day...can you imagine how busy the store was????? EMPTY!!!they were suitaby impressed....l was not..but then I spent most of the day tidying the rails of louses and skirts!!

perhaps its a trend, see the pope or skirt around the idea...

Charles Gramlich said...

The pope actually spoke at my university when he was in the US.

Cheffie-Mom said...

On my daughter's birthday, we found ourselves in Rome sitting in the front row, outdoors, beneath a perfect blue sky with white doves sailing miles above our heads. Some of the doves landed on the statues of saints towering over the buildings that formed a giant horseshoe. The Vatican -- one of those places that I for one simply cannot put into words.

I snapped photo after photo -- probably not your quality, but entertaining nonetheless. The Swiss guard in bright poofy suits, and other guards wearing white jackets (or at least we think they were guards). They had on tall white hats and honestly, they looked more like Chefs.

You can't help but smile really big when you see the Pope waving at you, inches from your own hand waving back. There was something magical about being at mass on my daughter's birthday -- and knowing that just three years ago I had nearly lost her. We are not even Catholic -- but I tell you this, we would go back again. And again.

Daryl said...

Been looking forward to this post and I am so LOL .. you are right, Mrs Authorblog, her BFF and I would have a fabulous time together and if you come along we'll let you hold our stuff while we try things on

:-Daryl

Jack and Joann said...

LOL! That was hilarious. I could picture the entire story in my mind's eye.

Now on Easter Sunday of 1971 I saw Pope Paul VI say mass on the Vatican steps. Somewhat like a medieval church with elements of a circus or carnival atmosphere with vendors selling flowers, souvenirs, balloons,etc.

Catmoves said...

Hi David. May I add..."Only In Australia" to your clever and funny posting? thank you for the laughs.

Catmoves said...

Hi David. May I add..."Only In Australia" to your clever and funny posting? thank you for the laughs.

richies said...

Great post. I love reading real experience stories. I have noticed that flea markets are a religion for some people.


An Arkie's Musings

Maggie May said...

That was a really good post! Good for her, that's what I say!

Jules~ said...

wow that is a great story and very ironic. I love how God does that.

Liz said...

No choice really!

cheshire wife said...

I am sure that you know by now that if a woman finds an item of clothing in her size that she has to buy it!

Verification word is maker

Louise said...

THAT is funny! (I would have gone to the flea markets, too. I'm not Catholic, but I know even if I was, that's what I would have done.)

Merisi said...

In ten years of living in Rome, I never ever encountered anyone who had gone to Porta Portese instead of going to see the Pope! One may rightly say that The Duo went straight to Jesus. :-)
P.S.: Where they the reason that the Pope decided to go visit Australia?

joan said...

What a great story David! I think I might have done just what Mrs. Authorblog did, though it would be exciting to see the Pope.

Suzanne said...

Of course the Pope would approve. I once saw him being carried in the audience room on a great big throne like thing. Pretty impressive but since it all was in Italian, didn't mean much. I didn't know about the flea market, perhaps I would have had better luck.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

I'm always looking forward to your posts.You didn't disappoint.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

. . . oh, do I hear regrets??

PLO said...

The sacrilidge...did i spell that right???????

Bear Naked said...

Mrs. Autorblog and I are two peas in a pod.
And now---
"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned."

Bear((( )))

French Fancy said...

I'm really glad the story had a happy ending :)

Papal Bull says it all really

Dragonstar said...

Oh, that's such a fun story!

On behalf of the ABC Team, thank you for your continued participation.

fishing guy said...

David: An interesting and funny story.

Jay said...

Oooh - those rebels! LOL! That's hilarious!

Did the ladies notice the labels when they were buying them?

babooshka said...

This is a pun worthy of it's text.

antigoni said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent post!!!!!!!!!!!

CrazyCath said...

Oh my goodness you had me LOL. The bare facedness of it all! I can just picture the scene - especially when they looked at the labels on the skirts!

Word verification is 'cooke' - now THAT'S appropriate!!

Neva said...

oh what a fun story! Love the sculpture/statue.