What’s it like behind the scenes with Pope Francis? Longtime Vatican photographers from Fotografia Felici — Rodolfo, Giuseppe, and Alberto — capture the significant and informal events of papal life. From his inauguration as pope to his 78th birthday, these previously unpublished images give us a glimpse into the daily life of Pope Francis through an entire calendar year. (See the full series of pictorial essays here.)
Pope Francis holds up the Book of the Gospel at the Mass of Inauguration in St. Peter’s Square on March 18, 2013. Thousands of people attended the mass.
Confessions of Pope Francis
As he walks toward his confessional, the Pope sees a priest and unexpectedly decides to confess his own sins before he hears the confessions of penitents.
The service begins in silence, without the accompaniment of sacred music, as Pope Francis prostrates himself.
Incensing the Paschal Candle
In front of the hundreds of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis incense the Paschal candle, which is lit during the Easter Vigil and then burns at every Mass for the 50 days of Eastertide.
At times, the press of young people can be a challenge for the security teams, but Pope Francis seems totally unconcerned.
Blowing Out the Candles
In 2014, Pope Francis’s birthday fell on a Wednesday, the day of the General Audience. He was given a birthday cake by a well-wisher and was happy to blow out the candles.
Photographs from Studio Felici reproduced by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House, from Pope Francis: A Photographic Portrait of the People’s Pope ©2015 by Father Michael Collins.