1933 – Roscrea Man’s Fleeting Papal Greeting

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Tipperary Star, 30 September 1933

When one meets one’s betters, one can get starstruck and the code of etiquette goes out the window. Whereas these days handshakes with the Pope are seen as ordinary, unexceptional affairs, there was a time when the Supreme Pontiff was not so “hands on” with his subjects. This was certainly the case with Pope Pius XI, a man who took the office, its trappings and traditions very seriously indeed. He was not a man to be trifled with and once made one of his bishops, the future Pope John XXIII, kneel for three quarters of an hour as punishment for a diplomatic blunder. So when Roscrea pilgrim Daniel Keogh broke protocol and seized the hand of the Bishop of Rome he was taking a chance that the Pope was in good form that morning. And luckily enough, it seemed he was, and Daniel came home with a Papal Blessing instead of a good, long kneel on the naughty pew.

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