St. Peter's Square

13 Stories

2 Living Popes Canonize 2 Predecessors

John Paul II and John XXIII canonized in historic ceremony at Vatican

(Newser) - It's a four-pope day at the Vatican, as two living popes gathered for the first time to canonize two of their predecessors: Pope Francis presided today over what the AP notes is really a pretty brief ceremony that confirmed the sainthood of John Paul II and John XXIII. Appearing... More »

Bird Thugs Attack Pope's 'Peace Doves'

Seagull, crow apparently didn't get the peace memo

(Newser) - It was supposed to be a nice moment: Pope Francis, in the course of calling for calm in the Ukraine today, had a couple of little kids release two doves over St. Peter's Square in a gesture of peace. But apparently in the animal world, as in the human... More »

Man Sets Self Ablaze at Vatican

Now in hospital with 'serious burns,' condition 'grave'

(Newser) - A man is in "grave" condition after he doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire in St. Peter's Square today around 8:30am local time, ANSA reports. The 51-year-old man was treated at a nearby hospital, then transferred to a larger one, with serious burns to... More »

Pope Blesses ... Harley Davidsons?

Thousands of bikers jam St. Peter's Square for Mass

(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... More »

At Inaugural, Francis Calls for Protection of Planet, Poor

New pope tours St. Peter's Square in open-top Jeep

(Newser) - Pope Francis officially kicked off his papacy today with a call to protect the planet and its poor, in a "low-key" yet dignitary-stuffed inaugural Mass that installed him as the Catholic Church's 266th pontiff. “Let us never forget that authentic power is service and that the pope,... More »

Pope Francis Hangs Out With Pilgrims, Gives 1st Angelus

Makes surprise appearance at Vatican side gate

(Newser) - Those looking for pomp and circumstance from Pope Francis' first Sunday as pontiff got instead an eyeful of his humble, man-of-the-people charm offensive. Ahead of his first Angelus blessing, Francis slipped out a side gate of the Vatican and mingled with startled pilgrims, even kissing babies and asking one, "... More »

Benedict's Farewell: Sometimes Lord Seemed to Sleep

Crowd tops 150K for his last general audience

(Newser) - It's Benedict XVI's penultimate day of pontificating, and tens of thousands of the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for an emotional farewell in which the pope recalled the "great burden" God had given him in 2005 and noted that his papacy had weathered difficult moments... More »

Benedict Gives Final Blessing

Says God called him to a life of prayer

(Newser) - Pope Benedict has given his final Sunday blessing as pontiff from his window on St. Peter's Square, telling thousands of cheering well-wishers that "in prayer, we will always be close," reports the BBC . The pope, who steps down on Thursday, said in his final Angelus address that... More »

Bizarre Collection Headed to Bush Library

From cowboy hats to swords to classified files

(Newser) - George W. Bush’s $300 million presidential library will be filled with documents, including many classified files. In all, it’ll boast roughly 68 million pages of documents, 175 million e-mails, 3,845,912 photos, and more videos than any previous president's library. But it’ll also have a wide... More »

In Easter Message, Pope Backs Israel-Palestine Peace

Sends message to Italy earthquake survivors

(Newser) - In his Easter message, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Israel-Palestine peace efforts, acknowledged Italy’s earthquake survivors, and called for hope in trying times, Reuters reports. “At a time of world food shortage, of financial turmoil, of old and new forms of is urgent to rediscover grounds for... More »

Religious Tourists Still Flocking to Italy

Easter likely to see 100,000 in St. Peter's Square

(Newser) - While industries around the world feel the weight of recession, Italy’s religious tourism appears fairly immune, USA Today reports. “It's one of the only areas where things haven't slowed down much," said a religious tour marketer. "Religious pilgrims still want to have the same experiences”—... More »

Pope Hails Easter Conversions

Benedict XVI demands end to conflicts in Tibet, Middle East

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Easter Mass today, hailing the miracle of conversion, "which renews itself even today" before a rain-soaked crowd in St. Peter's Square and calling for an end to hostilities in "Darfur and Somalia, the tormented Middle East, especially the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon, and Tibet.... More »

Pope Appeals for Lebanon Peace

Pontiff calls for end to infighting, election of 'president for all'

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI expressed concern today over the escalating tensions in Lebanon, calling on its people to find a “president for all Lebanese” to end the months of infighting that have stalled elections. After his noontime blessing, the pontiff told the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square that... More »

13 Stories