Ominous Photo Of The Day: Lightning Strikes St. Peter’s Basilica The Night Of Pope’s Announcement Of Resignation


You may have heard, but Pope Benedict XVI (née Joseph Ratzinger) put in his three weeks yesterday. Benedict announced his imminent resignation from the papal seat, citing old age that had made him “no longer suited to an adequate exercise.” In doing so, he becomes the first Bishop of Rome to step down from office in six centuries.

If the storms that fell over Vatican City last night are any indication, someone is not happy. Amid a sleet storm, lighting was spotted dancing atop St. Peter’s, prompting Agent France Press photographer Filippo Monteforte to aim his camera at the basilica’s dome. He waited under the columned portico over two hours before capturing not only one but two lighting bolts striking the cupola peak. As he told the Daily Mirror, “I decided it was worth seeing whether – if it DID strike – I could get the shot at exactly the right moment.”

The photograph was later verified by AccuWeather meteorologist Jesse Ferrell, who pointed to video footage and Monteforte’s credentials to support his assessment. He added ”that it doesn’t appear from a Google Image Search that a similar image has ever been captured before…” Dun dun dun.

Click through for the full image!


Photo: Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

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[via USA Today]