Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No One Draws a Bigger Crowd than the Pope

If you ever read the news, you'll notice that no celebrity, or famous person draws the crowds the pope does. If a popular band visits a country, you probably wouldn't even hear about it. The Queen came to Canada recently. It was on the news, but I only found out about it once she arrived. On the other hand, when Pope John Paul II came to Canada in 2002, there was news about it for months prior to his visit. Everyone knew he was coming.

The Pope will be visiting England later this year. People have known about this for months already. But do we know when anyone else on Earth will visit a particular place months or even a year in advance?

Also, we must look at the crowds. The Queen went to Ottawa for Canada Day celebrations. It is the biggest celebration of the year and tens of thousands of people always go there to celebrate. This year, when the Queen was there about 100,000 people showed up. This number of people usually show up anyway for Ottawa's Canada Day celebrations. When the Queen went to a church service, about 1500 people waited to see her.

While this is a respectable number, let's compare this to the pope when he came to Toronto in 2002. A crowd of about 850,000 people came to see Pope John Paul II that July. This was actually a low number compared to some of the crowds that come to see His Holiness.

When Pope Benedict went to Australia, 400,000 pilgrims attended, making it the largest gathering of human beings in Australia's history.

In Manilla, Philippines, the pope drew a crowd of over 5 Million people, making it one of the largest gatherings of people ever.

As you can see from the above examples, people are truly interested in what the pope has to say. He is fulfilling Christ's command to "spread the good news", and people respond to that.

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