We came across this film in which there is cut colour film of Venerable Pius XII.
It is wonderful to see as it puts paid to one or two things which are often thrown at Blessed John Paul II, namely that the latter 'invented' the popular clamour of the people to see their Pope. We can see by the crowds' response to Ven Pius XII that he had the 'star quality' that is so often thrown at Bd John Paul II as an accusation.
I remember a few years ago being in Rome on a short shopping trip (and of course visiting the holy things!) when I had the chance to see Pope Benedict in a normal Wednesday Papal audience. I was in two minds whether or not to go, but in the end decided that I really should go along.
So there I was, a jaded priest of the world, having seen the Pope from a distance once of twice, but my goodness the excitement when he came close by. I was charged with the presence of Christ's Vicar on earth - not just star status, but that this was him, the one chosen by the Holy Ghost to be our Holy Father.
I was close to him, and, frankly I admit it, I pushed forward to try to get close to him. I could see him coming closer and closer and I was getting nearer and nearer to him. My hand stretched out, just to touch the Holy Father!
But I had underestimated nuns (never a good thing to do!) and just as he was almost parallel to me, a dozen be-wimpled brides of Christ took my place. To this day I have no idea where they came from. "A thief in the night" has nothing on a bunch of nuns when the Holy Father's about!
Nova et vetera. It was always thus.