Children visiting the Vatican released balloons instead of doves Sunday in a ritual that serves as a gesture of peace.
The change follows an incident last year when doves released together by children and Pope Francis were attacked by two other birds, a crow and a seagull, the Associated Press reports. The episode created unwanted attention for the Pope, who is named for animal lover Francis of Assisi.
“Here’s the balloons that mean, ‘peace,'” Pope Francis said Sunday as children released the balloons. Pope John Paul II began the tradition of releasing doves to acknowledge efforts for peace worldwide.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Elliot Page: Embracing My Trans Identity Saved Me
- How Safe Is India's Railway Network?
- The 'Dopamine Detox' Is Having a Moment
- Column: How the World Must Respond to AI
- What the Debt Ceiling Deal Means for Student Loan Borrowers
- LGBTQ Reality TV Takes on a Painful Moment
- What NASA Can Teach SpaceX About Protecting the Environment
- The Best Movies of 2023 So Far