The Million Dollar Photo
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It happened at the end of a busy weekend. A group had been attending class each morning in Salerno, Italy and were enjoying all the excursions that were put together for them. Free-time was granted at night in this small and peaceful seaside resort of Southern Italy. Weekends in Salerno are usually slow paced, with a later start and fun activities. The students were returning from an excursion to the Amalfi coast with stops in Sorrento and Positano. The day was pure magic under perfect weather.
Back in Salerno and after a gelato stop the church bells started ringing at an usual pace. The noise in the old part of the city was reverberating off its cobblestone streets creating such a magic and setting the tone of what was to come. More than the usual afternoon mass was to come. The group of students was led to the nearby main church and arrived just a the procession was honoring the local saint. A religious statue, usually standing behind the altar all year, now travelling around town on men’s shoulders was rare occasion.
The local police could be seen respecting a ceremony that seemed to have been followed for centuries. Hundreds of locals were standing by the steps of the church expressing their faith in different ways as the procession started passing slowly. The altar boys seemed completely absorbed by the special moment. Each of them surrounded by the powerful smell of church incense. For a fraction of a second one leaned against the cross he was carrying. In a perfect presentation of devotion. That one photo-still. Maybe one of the best taken while directing a Magellan program.