By Tony Aiello

by Tony Aiello,

When the celebration of Mass ended, when the humble man with the quiet voice and big heart had left the floor of the arena, they moved towards the stage.

First a trickle, and then a flood of worshippers, grabbing the thousands of white roses that had been placed near the stairs leading to the altar.

No doubt many of those flowers are now pressed between the pages of a family bible, souvenirs of an evening that was uplifting and unforgettable.

The Papal Mass at MSG was filled with grace notes, like petals strewn on a path for the faithful.

Pope Francis In NYC: Madison Square Garden Mass In Photos | Full Coverage | CBS2 Video 

The music was led by a woman, Jennifer Pascual. Her image was on the big screen at the Garden more than anyone else, save Pope Francis himself.

A gay man delivered the first reading.

The icon of the Virgin Mary was that of Our Lady of Guadalupe, beloved by Hispanics, whose energy and faith are vital for the future of the church.

Latin was used extensively, a nod towards traditionalists.

The simple furniture was made by day laborers and residents of a school for troubled teenagers. On the altar, made with humble plywood, sat a priceless chalice, almost pure gold, used by Pope Paul VI at his Yankee Stadium mass 50 years ago.

Quite a bouquet of striking images and subtle messages.

In his homily, Pope Francis told the faithful to be witnesses to the light of the Christ they worship as Lord and savior.

Flowers can’t grow without light.

The Holy Father planted seeds of faith at the Garden on Friday night. With love and care, they’ll bloom.

Tony Aiello


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