Pope Blesses ... Harley Davidsons?
Thousands of bikers jam St. Peter's Square for Mass
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2013 8:13 AM CDT
Pope Francis, in green under the canopy, celebrates a mass in St. Peter's Square, Sunday, June 16, 2013. The pontiff greeted hundreds of Harley riders and blessed their motorcycles prior to the mass.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – It was a rougher-than-usual crowd in St. Peter's Square today, with the dull roar of Harley Davidsons drowning out the "Our Father" and Pope Francis himself doling out blessings to the thousands of bikers crowding into what the AP terms "a giant Harley parking lot." The bikers were in town to honor the 110th anniversary of the legendary motorcycle brand; by some counts, the four-day celebration attracted a half-million Harley enthusiasts. The Vatican took the sea of leather in stride, with Francis giving a shout out to the "numerous participants" in the rally, and a church spokesman quipping, "I know great people who have big bikes."