Inside the Vatican:
The Pope's Day

National Geographic Television Special
Airs in the U.S. on the National Geographic Channel

Page four of eleven

Photo Gallery of John Paul II: Go>>

Careful observers of the Vatican might notice a recurring image there—it's a man in a small blue car that frequently darts in and out of the gates, slipping past the guards with only a wave. His face is his entrance pass and it is familiar to all. He is Arturo Mari, the pope's photographer.

For the past 45 years, he has covered almost every aspect of papal life.

"I think that this job must be done because one has a belief," Arturo told National Geographic Television. "Before the work, you have a belief—a veneration towards the person with whom you are working. The Holy Father John Paul II transmits with his personality this love in me for my work."

If the Vatican is defined by the personalities within it, then no one defines it more than Pope John Paul II. Arturo's coverage, whether on one of the pope's international trips or on one of his endless days in the Vatican, provides comprehensive proof.

"On a typical day, by 6:50 a.m., I am already in the Holy Father's apartment. The first ceremony is the Mass, which the Holy Father does every morning…After the Mass, the Holy Father receives the guests who attended, personalities, bishops, cardinals, people, everyone, everyone…in this, he never has any time.

"Free time does not exist for the pope. This is the reality—prayer, work, work, prayer. Here, this is the life of the pope."

Source: Excerpt from Inside the Vatican, a National Geographic Television special that airs in the United States on the National Geographic Channel and is available as a book.

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