RI native gets unexpected front row seat to Papal history - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

RI native gets unexpected front row seat to Papal history

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By: Alexandra Cowley


All eyes are on the cardinals at the Vatican. They must still decide on a date to begin the election of a new Pope. Work is already underway to prepare the site of the conclave that will pick a successor to the retired Pope Benedict the 16th.

It's a rare thing happening in Italy, and A Rhode Island native is among those getting a front row seat to history.

Every night at 8 o'clock in Rome you can find Newport native John Egan kneeled down in a crowd of priests and laypeople in St Peter's Square praying the Rosary.

Egan visits Rome every year. We spoke with him via Skype.

"I'm staying at a friends house about a 20 minute walk from the Basilica of St. Peter,"said Egan

The group started gathering after Pope Benedicts final day. Praying that the holy spirit guide the Cardinals in selecting a new Pope. It's an experience Egan still can't believe he's a part of.

He makes an annual trip to Rome to visit friends, restore his faith, and indulge in the food. Except this time, his friends said he was about to witness history.

A friend told John of the news; "He said, John did you hear, the Pope just announced that he's going to resign and I was floored."

So Egan did what any devout Catholic would, he changed his travel plans to stay through Easter, allowing him to witness what no Catholic has in centuries.

"I certainly would have never expected such a thing in my lifetime," said Egan.

Egan is taking plenty of pictures to document his time there. He has a picture of the robes the new Pope will wear. In another photo, Egan stands in front of a poster of Pope Benedict XVI that reads :  "You will always be with us: thank you."

"My greatest experience so far is everyday that I'm there for the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass," he said.

Egan promises to Skype with us again once the new Pope is announced, until then, he'll be kneeling in St. Peter's Square praying for the Conclave, thankful for his unexpected front row seat to history.


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