Contact Us

Pope Francis Blesses Hogs

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Pope Francis blessed hogs this past Sunday, but it was the kind that go “vroom, vroom!,” not “oink, oink. “Pope Francis will bless those and their fellow four-legged pals in October on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

It was instead biker culture that came to the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Francis blessed thousands of Harley-Davidsons and their riders celebrating the manufacturer’s 110th anniversary with a loud parade and plenty of leather.

Thundering Harley engines nearly drowned out the Latin recitation of the “Our Father” prayer that accompanied Francis as he greeted the crowd before Mass. Standing in his open-top jeep, Francis drove up the main boulevard leading to St. Peter’s Square, blessing the thousands of people in what was a giant Harley parking lot.

Once the service got under way, bikers in their trademark leather Harley vests sat in the square alongside nuns and tens of thousands of faithful Catholics taking part in an unrelated, two-day pro-life rally.

Francis addressed them both afterwards, giving a blessing to the “numerous participants” of the Harley gathering.

Some estimates say a half-million Harley owners from around the world descended on Rome for the four-day anniversary of the American manufacturer. The main events were Saturday’s parade past the Colosseum and other historic landmarks and Sunday’s Vatican blessing.

Earlier in the week, Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Harley gave Francis two white classic Harleys for the Vatican police force to use.

There was something a bit incongruous about the Harley crowd — known for their “Freedom” motto, outlaw image and adventuresome spirit — taking part in a solemn papal Mass to commemorate a 1995 encyclical on the inviolability of human life.

“Evangelium Vitae” is a roadmap of the church’s teaching against abortion, euthanasia and murder. Harley’s advertising for its 2013 bike collection reads “Live life on your own terms. More than 30 ways to defy the status quo.”

The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi noted that there were probably quite a few Catholic riders in the crowd and that regardless, anyone is welcome to a papal Mass.

“I know great people who have big bikes,” Lombardi quipped.

In his comments to the pro-life crowd, Francis offered prayers “for every human life, especially the most fragile, defenseless and threatened.” But he stayed away from saying anything more polarizing about abortion or contraception.

He then spent a good half-hour after the Mass caressing, kissing and chatting with a few dozen sick or disabled people in the square, including one on a motorcycle wearing Harley garb.

More From KTDY

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://999ktdy.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 99.9 KTDY quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on 99.9 KTDY quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!