December 28, 2009.
A warm welcome for Pope Benedict XVI as he prepared to eat a warm meal with Rome’s neediest.
“Viva il Papa”
The crowd shouted “long live the pope”.
But days earlier, he was greeted very differently by a 25-year old
“unstable” woman who attended Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s
Witnesses captured these images, the woman jumping over barricades, pushing the pontiff to the ground.
During the pope’s visit to St. Egidio’s soup kitchen, his first trip
since the attack, security was tight and guards escorted Benedict XVI
inside where he shared a meal with 150 homeless and poor people.
“Thank you for this opportunity! I am very happy and I thank everyone
with love and expertise have prepared the food - I really felt the
power of this kitchen, congratulations!”
Benedict XVI told the poor, that he is close to them and loves them,
and called on everyone to always remember those in need and help them.
After the meal, the pope handed out gifts to about 30 children at the center.
The pope’s visit to the soup kitchen is part of a tradition his predecessor John Paul II started in 1998.