WEST PALM BEACH, FL, June 14, 2013 — Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Inc. delivered two classic motorcycles and a leather motorcycle jacket to Pope Francis. The company is marking its 110th anniversary with a series of celebrations, including a large party in Rome.
According to the Harley-Davidson website, the Rome celebration started yesterday and will last through Sunday.
Thousands of bikers are planning to ride to Vatican City this weekend in hopes of receiving a “blessing of the motorbikes.”
This Sunday, June 16, Pope Francis will bless motorcycles – and their riders – in a special ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. The pontiff agreed to allow motorcycles to park along the road leading to St. Peter’s Square during the ceremony. The Catholic Church expects “between 1,000 and 2,000” bikers to fill the square for the blessing.
Italian officials say more than a half a million bikers will enter the city for the celebration. The Via Della Conciliazione, which leads from St. Peter’s Basilica to the River Tiber, will be turned into a giant Harley-Davidson bike park.
Harley-Davidson social media sights are literally a-twitter with the Pope’s acceptance of bikers. Said one biker on a Harley-Davidson forum, “He is truly a Pope of the people…all people…even bikers.”