On Sunday at the Vatican, Pope Francis blessed thousands of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and their owners.
Some estimates say a half-million Harley owners from around the world came to Rome for the four-day honoring of the American manufacturer, which celebrated its 110th anniversary. The main events were Saturday's parade past the Colosseum and other historic landmarks as well as Sunday's Vatican blessing.
Interestingly, in St. Peter’s Square at the same time as the blessing were several thousand Catholics taking part in two-day pro-life rally.
Harley's advertising for its 2013 bike collection reads "Live life on your own terms. More than 30 ways to defy the status quo."
The Vatican spokesperson, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, noted that there were probably quite a few Catholic riders in the crowd and that regardless anyone is welcome to a papal Mass.
"I know great people who have big bikes," Lombardi said.
In his comments to the pro-life crowd, Francis offered prayers "for every human life, especially the most fragile, defenseless and threatened."