While many of his younger Italian brethren might still be sleeping, Rome’s 77-year-old bishop is up at 4:45 a.m. and ready for another 15-hour day. Though he only has one fully functioning lung, he has maintained a rigorous and demanding schedule during his first 15 months of office, according to the Italian daily La Stampa, which published some interesting statistics on the pope that were confirmed by the Vatican.
Since his March 2013 installation Mass, Pope Francis has drawn some 6 million attendees to his audiences and Angelus, his Sunday morning address in St. Peter’s Square. He has celebrated 229 daily Masses at his St. Martha residence in Vatican City and has interacted with 12,000-some individuals who have attended.
He has also:
- Attended 95 major liturgical celebrations or events
- Given 231 speeches
- Crafted 73 official homilies and delivered 73 Angelus addresses
- Hosted 54 general audiences (his midweek address in St. Peter’s Square)
- Spent 150 hours outside during these audiences in both winter and summer
- Delivered 55 messages
- Taken two official trips abroad (one to the Mideast in May 2014 and one to Brazil in July 2013)
- Embarked on four trips within Italy
- Visited five Roman parishes in his official capacity
T.J. Thomson is an award-winning photojournalist, designer, and writer. He is the 2013 recipient of the Great Plains Journalism Awards' Student Photographer of the Year title and his work has been published by the Associated Press, the Omaha World-Herald, The Kearney Hub, and The Grand Island Independent, among others. He is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has worked for Religion News since 2013. Josephine McKenna has more than 30 years’ experience in print, broadcast and interactive media. She produced nature and political TV segments for Discovery, National Geographic and ABC before moving to Rome in 2007. Now she covers all things Vatican for RNS. Via RNS.