Lightening struck St Peters Basilica in Rome as Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign the Papal post at the end of February.
Lightening bolt struck the Basilica roof twice after Pope Benedict announced his resignation on Monday.
The moment, believed by some, to be a sign from God, was caught on camera by an AFP photographer Filippo Monteforte.
He said: “I took the picture from St. Peter’s Square while sheltered by the columns. It was icy cold and raining sheets. When the storm started, I thought that lightning might strike the rod, so I decided it was worth seeing whether – if it DID strike – I could get the shot at exactly the right moment.”
Filippo, , waited for more than two hours and two bolts struck again.
He added: “The first bolt was huge and lit up the sky, but unfortunately I missed it. I had better luck the second time, and was able to snap a couple of images of the dome illuminated by the bolt.”
The Pope Benedict , who is 85 years old, has been the head of the Church since 2005.He announced his resignation on Monday.
Benedict announced his resignation in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, calling it “a decision of great importance for the life of the church.”
He emphasised that carrying out the duties of being pope requires “both strength of mind and body.”
He told the cardinals: “I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”