157. Pope Francis, prays alone in a spooky and empty St. Peter's Square
By Giulio D'Ercole
From Macro Photography to an Immense Symbolic Image
Yesterday I announced a brief series of blogs, based on minimalistic macro photography shots of nature to talk about the Coronavirus pandemic. I was truly looking forward to it and I had everything very well planned out, but since life is what happens to us while we are busy making plans, something way bigger happened and I decided to postpone the series and bring all my attention to an amazing, immense symbolic image that made the front page worldwide: Pope Francis praying alone in a spooky and empty St. Peter's Square
The Pope Resuscitates a Deep Sense of Archetypal White Magic
Yesterday afternoon, we witnessed the highest, moving and symbolically significant example of a powerful return to the primordial, archetypal sense of "white magic". It does not matter whether you believe in God or not, the communicative value, in the best sense of the term, of Pope Francis' gesture in St. Peter's Square, goes far beyond religion since that gesture and its spiritual ritual simultaneously encompasses two calls: the duty to respect nature (which seems to combine science and animism) and the need to have faith (believers) and hope (all humans). But above all, the wisest, most human and most far-sighted leader of this century, yesterday afternoon called together not only His people but all the peoples of the world to unite in the fight against evil, since, as he said, nobody can save himself (only by himself) in the storm.
It's not another Episode of The Lord of the Rings, It's Reality
If it wasn't that it is all tragically and dramatically true, seeing the Pope standing alone in the huge and spectacular square designed by Bernini, with St. Peter's Basilica as a backdrop, almost felt like watching a scene from a soon to be released fourth and final movie of the lords of the Rings, based on a never published Tolkien's book: Gandalf the White for the umpteenth time brings together the good peoples of the world to stay united and defeat the forces of evil Sauron. Unfortunately, we are neither on a film set nor among the pages of the best fantasy that has ever been written. This is all real, and it is happening here and now.
The Essence of True Christianity, Shamanism and Mankind
So, what we have witnessed yesterday is unprecedented, what we have seen is this amazing man, Pope Francis, this humble and frail shaman who alone addresses a huge imaginary crowd, present only in his sacrificial absence, asking for a miraculous Divine Intervention. This is, by far, the strongest icon that this crisis could ever produce, pairing only with the images of doctors and nurses working tirelessly in the hospitals, and with the ones of hundreds of intubated men, spasmodically in search of a breath of air.
God and Mankind.
The Cathartic Power of Symbolic Images
All those images of empty streets, desolated squares, people wearing protective masks and gloves, the exhausted doctors and nurses, the bodies lying in overcrowded hospitals, the military trucks bringing away hundreds of coffins, funerals with no people, with nobody there to shed tears, and Pope Francis praying alone in the heart of Rome, maybe of the whole world... these are all powerful images with an incredible cathartic power.
I believe that if we will all be able to remember and nail those images in our hearts, minds and eyes, without forgetting their crude and spiritual reality, once the Coronavirus pandemic will be over, we will have a great chance to build new and better societies, with new and better human beings.