Pope Extends Blessing While Flying Over Island

September 21, 2015

[Updated] While flying over Bermuda yesterday on his way to Cuba, Pope Francis contacted Bermuda Air Traffic Control saying he wished to pray for Bermuda, and extended his blessings upon us all, and asked God to grant “wellbeing and peace” on Bermuda and our citizens.

Pope Francis (1)

On Saturday afternoon, September 19, 2015, Flight Crew members from Alitalia Flight 4000 [AZA4000] en route to Havana, Cuba, from Rome, Italy, contacted the Bermuda Air Traffic Control [ATC] Tower.

The aircraft was inside Bermuda airspace at the time and the pilot stated that Pope Francis was on board and wanted to pray for Bermuda. He transmitted a prayer on the ATC Tower frequency and then proceeded on his historic flight to Cuba.

The radio transcript of the prayer reads: “I send cordial greetings [to] your Excellency and your fellow citizens.

“As I fly over your country [Bermuda] on my way to Cuba for a pastoral visit; evoking these blessings upon you all. I ask Almighty God to grant to the nation; wellbeing and peace. From a peaceful Pope.”

Then the Bermuda Air Traffic Controller on duty at the time thanked him on behalf of Bermuda and wished him God’s Blessings on his flight. He responded “Thank you”.

Update 1.49pm: Premier Michael Dunkley said today that he was very “delighted and appreciative” of the Pope’s gracious gesture to the people of Bermuda on Saturday.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said, “The public will be aware that the Pope will visit the US this week, with trips to Philadelphia, New York and Washington – where he is expected to meet with President Barack Obama and address Congress.

“Prior to his US visit, Pope Francis made a stop in Cuba this weekend, where he met with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and other Government officials.

“The Cabinet Office advised that the Premier in fact wrote to Pope Francis, President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro late last year, following the global announcement of the cooling of relations between the two countries.

“In an excerpt from President Obama’s letter, the Premier wrote: “This is leadership that gives hope for a better world in which we step past barriers to grow in collaboration, building on shared interests and the understanding that we are better together than apart.”

“And to Pope Francis, the Premier expressed Bermuda’s admiration for the role the Pope played in the restoration of diplomatic relations between the US and the Republic of Cuba.

He added: “Your timely intervention to facilitate the rapprochement represents a triumph of faith and understanding that we are better together than apart. Thank you for your actions and for the continuing commitment to peace on Earth and goodwill to men….”

Update 12.49am, Sept 22: Following the greetings passed by the Pope as he flew over on Saturday on his way to Cuba, Governor George Fergusson said, “I greatly appreciate His Holiness’s kind greetings to the people of Bermuda as he flew over us on Saturday.

“It was particularly fitting as Saturday was the first full day on which Bishop-elect Wieslaw Spiewak was present on the Island, ahead of his forthcoming installation as the Catholic Bishop of Hamilton on 1 October”.

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  1. PBanks says:

    Well that’s awfully nice from the pontiff, it must be said.

    • Onion Juice says:

      After reading the History of the Vatican, I don’t know bie.

      • PBanks says:

        I feel ya, the Catholic church hasn’t exactly been ‘infallible’ over the centuries, but this fella seems like the genuine article.

        • Coffee says:

          Imagine … If we had that new airport , he may have even stopped to Holy See it .

  2. geebie says:

    Prayer works! Thank you Pope Francis!!!

    • ron,b says:

      whos prayers?

    • Malachi says:

      Not sure of the author, but someone once said that “Two hands busy at work can accomplish far more than a thousand hands clasped in prayer”

      • mixitup says:

        I look at it like this… A prayer for the covering of Jesus upon these two hands you talk about protects them and allows them to accomplish far more..

      • TSOL says:

        Wow, maybe you can preach that to all the lazy b@st@rds on this island.

    • Tolerate says:

      Wow, Bermuda is really going to the dogs. A religious leader offers something positive (prayer) to our Island and “Off They Go!!!”
      I would not consider myself religious, but damn; if the Leader of any religious group, offered such positive wishes on my Country; I’ll take that for the gesture it is, no matter what I may think of their belief.
      Chill out people; when he heads back from Cuba the plane should fly upside down when it goes over Bermuda (just a bird joke).

  3. Bob says:

    Given the armed robberies and violence as of late, I think we are all praying for Bermuda these days.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Talk about robbery, I wonder who was praying for the indigenous people in Asia, Americas and Africa while they were being plundered by the Europeans.

      • hmmm says:

        Weird that you don’t have a beef with the Ottoman empire. Turkey was not part of Europe then.

        How about the neo Assyrian, Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, that of the Hittites, the Egyptian, the Persian, the Macedonian, the Inca, and the Aztec

        • Anbu says:

          He doesnt even know what youre talking about lmao.

        • Onion juice says:

          There is a difference between Tribal dominance and Geographical dominance.
          Dont get it twisted.
          Nice try though.

          • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

            Simply put.
            There isn’t.

            Aggression and oppression are pretty much the same regardless of who is committing them.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          As OJ’s repeated posting show, he believes that only Europeans have committed crimes against the world, that every issue we are experiencing today results from something a European has done and that Africa and everywhere else in the world was a pristine paradise of love and happiness until Europeans came along.

        • jake says:

          don’t talk about things you have no clue about,especially history,soon as blacks bring up the horrors caused by europeans it’s a political agenda? it is history that is being ignored

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Slavery did not begin nor end with Europeans, Africans, Asians… It began with humanity; how can you demand accountability and reparations from one group without acknowledging all involved; where do you draw the line in history to say from here on it was bad; who decides where that line is; how do you hold people long dead responsible?
            The trouble with history, we cannot change it, fix it, it is done; all we can truly do is learn from it to make sure we don’t repeat it.

            • Onion juice says:

              Thats why fools like you need to be reminded, Europeans have benefited HUGELY and are STILL benefiting from centuries of FREE labor and economic and social favor but act like we all started at the same point and refusing to admit that Generations of old money is still circulated through assets and estates from which a certain segment STILL enjoy through INHERITANCE.
              The TRUTH is an offence but not a sin.

          • Earth watch police says:

            Slavery exists today but nobody cares we just worry about history . Man is man All races have wickedness and evil in them it’s in our DNA.

      • hmmm says:


        also how about the Persian Empire

        • hmmm says:

          or how about the largest contiguous land empire in history…the Mongol Empire.

      • Sickofantz says:

        I wonder who was praying for the Spanish and Portugese when they were invaded by the Moors?

        And who was praying for the Neantherdals when modern humans (that’s you and me bro) came out of Africa and took their hunting territories!

        I don’t know what advice to give you Onion Juice?
        1) Learn history
        2) Be happy and lets look forward to a multicultural world.

        • Onion juice says:

          Neantherdals is a made up European name to discredit Africans as being the first humans.

        • mj says:

          @sickofant—spanish and portuguese are languages, the Moors spoke latin before they were conquered 1492, thats why in school we learned latin back in 1970′s and it was eventually phased out so we would not have memory of it…When did the Moors invade those languages of spanish and portugues , I recall the Spanish inquisition, and the portuguese involved in the slave trade taking the gold.. so if you could provide some historical reference to the Moors invading those two languages it would be appreciated.

      • ron,b says:

        don’t forget to mention that these were Arab Muslims and their malato off spring were responsible for the Barbary Slave Trade, it was started by Arab Muslims,so say Arabs and you still cant compare the Barbary Slave trade to the 600 millions Africans that died in the trans Atlantic slave trade

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          600m… how the hell did you get that number of dead… While records are sketchy, it was estimate that anywhere from 20m to 100m where taken during the trade and at no time during that period did the population of the whole of Africa itself exceed 80m… Please do a little research. I don’t even think the world population was much higher than 600m

          • Zevon says:

            You’re right. The total world population didn’t reach 600 million until the 18th century.

        • ron,b says:

          60 million i correct myself

        • Attitude Of Gratitude says:

          Well said Build a Better Bermuda! And who’s comparing slave trades ron,b besides you? OJ was/is clearly under the assumption that only Europeans were involved in the slave trade and that’s not true. You want to go making comparisons of which is better or worse in regards to the atrocities of history that’s on you!

          • Onion juice says:

            I was not under the assumption, I was only referring to the Holocaust of my ancestry and the ongoing effects that we’re still feeling.
            And in Bermuda and the rest of the Western Hemisphere is where Slavery of Africans were effected MAINLY.
            The other places have their own advocates.

      • Barbara Cooper says:

        The Pope ia praying for ALL people.

        • sage says:

          With zero effect.

        • mj says:

          Jeremiah 11-1-13—-Jeremiah 11,vs 14–”Therefore pray thou not for this people neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” I don’t know who the Pope is praying to, even if you say he is praying for everybody, God said He is the Saviour(Isiah 43:11)and besids Him there is no other.Matthew 23:9–” and call no man your father upon the earth for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.” Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ,But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” chapter23vs 15″ Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees , hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

    • regan says:

      it was arab muslims responsible for the barbary slave trade,not africans, why would you even say that

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Because the slave trade the Ottoman took over were predominantly based out of North Africa, where the slave trade had been active long before the Ottoman showed up, before the Romans showed up, before the Greeks… none of those empires established the trade there, they just took it over.

      • Attitude Of Gratitude says:

        Once again- well said Build a Better Bermuda!

  4. Family Man says:

    Well then, all our problems are solved. We have ‘wellbeing and peace’ now from an ‘Almighty God’. (Although it helps to have a trained pilot at the control when you’re at 30,000 ft … you know, just give to give God a helping hand).

    Now we just need to find who’s been masquerading as “your Excellency” down here.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Positive energy is positive energy, no matter where or what the origins are. I am not religious in any real fashion, but think it was something of a positive, and appreciate the sentiment from the pontiff, who could have just as easily not done this. But given that he had the thought to do so speaks better than most

      • jake says:

        the gun problem has been for a few years now,how has prayer helped? or the problem hasn’t reached your doorstep,

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Positive attitudes don’t always win, negative attitudes only make the problems worse

  5. Loquatz says:

    The Pope does a drive by shout out!

  6. El Papa says:

    He needs to pray a little harder for the hundreds and thousands fleeing from the death being rained upon Syria right now, because it doesn’t look like anybody’s prayers are being answered.

    • Terry says:

      Irony is prayer does work as can be seen by them being allowed into other countries even though hard.


  7. SANDGROWNAN says:


    The wish or hope strongly for a particular outcome or situation. Or alternatively, a complete waste of time but I suppose it makes some people feel better.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      He was on a transatlantic flight… seriously, I’m sure it’s wasn’t that much out of his day. He could have just as easily gone on without doing this, but took notice that where he was and made the effort to extend a positive message our way… how many people can you say that of… and all you think to do is complain

      • SANDGROWNAN says:

        Has the Catholic Church apologised yet for Rwanda?

        • Onion juice says:

          Or when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Or when Mugabe starved his population and violently suppressed his opposition.

            • Onion juice says:

              Yup after he kicked out Ian Smith and his racist views.

              • Earth watch police says:

                Mugabe president for life dictator kill all opposition turn Africa s bread basket into a starving country oh yeah chase and kill white people .His name will be added to the list with all the other despots and murderers of All races throughout history.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Your right, there are those in the Catholic Church that need to be held responsible for what happened in Rawanda and after, but your statement neglect the fact that more than 200 priests and nuns were also killed in the massacres during those years. What happened during the conflict had little to do with church doctrine and more to do with the cultural conflict that was at the heart of the massacres. Where the church failed was to hold their members to account before the law.

        • Not A Papist says:

          Has the Catholic Church apologised r its continued treatment of women and children in Ireland as yet?



          SOMEBODY should apologise to those 800+ dead babies. SOMEBODY should apologise for the 5000+ girls and women who are forced to travel outside the Iish to recieve an abortion, regardless of their health and circumstances.

          That SOMEBODY might as well be the head guy, the Managing Director in charge of “God” on Earth.

          Anyone who thinks this “Church” or its “Leader” is anythin other than a giant tax-evading hoax is delirious.

  8. Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

    The Pope had His Co-Pilot flying the plane..GOD!

    • Not A Papist says:

      I for one would be happier to attempt flying that plane myself.

  9. Starting Point says:

    How is he flying around the world when the world is flat?

  10. peter n says:

    This troubled little island needs alot more than prayer….

    • mixitup says:

      Count your blessing… Some countries would pay us to take on our problem instead of theirs.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Even Onion Juice’s problems ? ?

        • mixitup says:

          No, Onion Juice needs a one on one with the Pope.

          • mixitup says:

            BTW That was a Joke Onion Juice – I Actually support your blogging.

            • kangoocar says:

              @mixitup, if you support onion juice, then YOU are the one that needs a one on one with the Pope!!!!

              • mixitup says:

                Why? because his life experience is one I can relate too? You’ll have your one on one with the Devil in due time.. Then again you may just have to take a look in the bathroom mirror for that.

  11. Forethebest says:

    This demonstrates my theory, yet again, that the closer one is to the top of an institution, the more of a salesman one must become.

  12. Positive Pessimist says:

    This Pope seems nice. Shame he’s the…

  13. 'Island Empress' says:

    AMEN Pope! We sure do need prayer for our island. It is slowly being taken away from our people. increased violence. decreasing family values. God continue bless our island paradise. Put the right leaders in place in every aspect…religious, political, academic, charity and business.

    Safe travels.

    • Not A Papist says:

      With all due respect, Bermuda is doing it to themselves.

  14. james says:

    Callistus III, 1378-1458
    Roman Catholic Pope
    was quoted as saying,,You are authorized to reduce to servitude all infidel people, ,meaning all people who were not christian were to made slaves

  15. james says:

    these people are not a holy as you think

  16. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    Is there nothing positive that can happen that some people won’t twist to something negative?

    The Pope’s prayer for our little island is a good thing. And this is coming from a person who isn’t religious and has a particular unease about the Catholic church.

    This man is the leader of his church. He’s on his way to historic visit to Cuba and then on to the US, but he took a few minutes out of his day to think about us down here on this rock, when most people don’t even know our country exists.

    This is a big deal for the devout of the Catholic church.

    It’s a good thing that someone wants to wish us all the best.

    Forget history, and take it in the here and now.

    I don’t know if prayer works. I’ve seen things happen that seem to suggest that they do. I’ve also seen things happen that seem to suggest they don’t. But I’ll be darned if I’m going to downgrade someone who wants to offer anything positive in the hopes it will do greater good.

    • james says:

      its real easy for some people to forget history

      • Rhonnie aka Blue Familiar says:

        And it’s also really easy for some people to carry it around with them badge of honour.

      • Rhonnie aka Blue Familiar says:

        More seriously though, there’s nothing wrong with taking things in the spirit in which they were meant.

        • mj says:

          @ronnie k familiar—how exactly do we know what spirit it was meant.. that wave could signify many things, .We are to quick to respect the “seat” of the titles of these individuals and their abhorrent history seems to be avoided..An apology for rape, theft, murder ect. And with a wave of the hand all forgiven? Are you serious, in bermuda we lock up our men for farrrrless, and the pontiff has NOT forgiven them especially on the day of attonment..I guess he lacks those powers, or the will..if the papacy seat is forgiven for their attrocities than all people should be forgiven,.A persons title should not exempt them from the same punishment of the majority, and accountability is especially going to be required of the Pope seat.

  17. ron,b says:

    In 1441, a Portugese sailor Antum Gonzales seized ‘two Moors’, likely Sanhaja Berber, on the Rio d’Oro coast and took them, with seven other captives, back to Lisbon, and gave them to Pope Pius II (Piccolomini). The Pope, in turn, granted Price Enrique title to all lands discovered East of cape Blanco and, in 1455, authorized Portugal ‘to reduce to servitude all infidel people’. Pius II also directed that baptized Africans should not be traded, but they could be enslaved.

  18. james says:

    if you think heaven and hell or god and the devil are anything but states of the mind, then you believe in myth and crafty scare tatics,

  19. Terry says:

    Having read all this garbage above from posters………………
    Just imagine if President Obama or Vladamir or Tony Smith had done same.

    Fools the lot of you who have nothing else to do.

    Wait until the big bird fly’s over and sheets on you……………

    I give up.

  20. Raymond Ray says:

    Wow, look where most of the peoples comments went! Look at the headline: “Pope extends blessing while flying over Island.”

  21. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    Well well well….how much do we really know about this fellow..? Not much from What I read here…

    • Zevon says:

      And I’m sure all the same people will be just as caustic the next time that people’s campaign church pretend Bermudian says something.

  22. ACEBOY the P.O.P.E. says:

    I dont een know whur you guys are gettin to all this ish bout slavery and whatnot …. like ruly, all i wantd tah do was give a little shout out to all me bredrin down on de rock. As im de de dope pope, det comes in de form of de blessings from above. Take it or leave it but keep ya waffllesss digressions away.

  23. navin johnson says:

    Only in this ridiculous self righteous island could an innocent gesture be followed by the type of trash above….instead of a simple thank you we see the comments above…no wonder we are in the mess we are in hanging by a thread….disgusting….bitter people of little accomplishment..

  24. They have issues…

  25. Kathy says:

    Pope Francis – you ROCK!!!!!!!!

  26. Acegurl says:

    After scanning these comments there are many on here who need a lot more than wishes of peace from the Pope. Some people will just never get it! They need much, much more than prayers. Let’s start with medications and psychologists.
    God Bless you Pope Francis!

  27. Second says:

    Who, where, when does not matter. Accept the prayer graciously, as we need all we can get. Blessings on the Pope. Thanks for thinking of little Bermuda!

  28. Yes I says:

    The Pope was up there having a bit of fun. If you had the opportunity wouldn’t you give a shout out?? :) )

  29. Wow says:

    Wow! A religious leader offers prayer to a tiny island in it’s own turmoil and yet, there’s toxins spewed from mouths. I’m not a religious person, but thank you Pope Francis for thinking of little us on your journey. It’s clearly demonstrated by the some of the comments on here that we sure need it. On behalf of us who embrace prayer and blessings, THANK YOU!