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The timing could not have been better.
Just moments after Pope Benedict XVI arrived at the basilica to celebrate Vespers in Cameroon's capital Yaounde, the heavens opened. Heavy rain lashed the crowds gathered outside the packed basilica and while some scurried for cover others revelled in the downpour dousing the day's heat.
Even more portentous was the sudden blast of sunshine that burst through the dark thunderheads, bathing the scene in a golden light and sparking wonder among the faithful, who cheered, wept, kneeled and prayed.
Many had waited long hours in the burning sun to catch a glimpse of the pope and this appeared to be a heavenly reward for their patience.
(All photos by Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters)
Meanwhile, the firestorm over the Pope's comments about condoms and AIDS continues. Read the latest here.