A Pilgrim's Progress

You feel smaller when your father dies because he was strong and lifted you, carried you and taught you, and when he's gone the room feels too big without him. So it was in St. Peter's Square, where pilgrims kept vigil, their faces traced in low light by candles, murmuring "Don't leave us." Among the believers was almost disbelief that death still comes even to a man this strong--the Holy Father who had carried his people so far, lifted them so high, taught them so much and now finally was slipping away.

The bells began tolling at 10:37 Saturday night, an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!