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Why does the pope kiss the ground after he disembarks from an airplane?

Full Question

Why does the pope kiss the ground after he disembarks from an airplane? My friend considers this practice to be nothing but superstition.


Your friend is reading too much into the gesture. The act of kissing the ground of a country one has just set foot upon, whether done by the pope or any other world leader, isn’t superstitious. It’s merely a way of expressing love and respect for the country and its people.



  1. Armida Duran Reply

    Thank you for the answer..I myself always wondered too..

  2. Shirley Reply

    Well said. It takes great humility not to care about appearances to do this. I’m sure he’s asking God to bless the country & the people in it.

  3. mimi Reply

    Superstition doesn’t even enter the picture. Your friend is not too bright!!!

  4. fadi Reply

    This is not superstition, at all. it is an act of thanks and appreciation. though it is done by many, including leaders, it should ideally not done explicitly by godly people. i would do instead, raise my arms and praise the Lord and thank him for the safety and delivery to the destination. Thanks should first and foremost be given to our Lord and then i would address the others, like the pilot steady hands, or the flight attendants hospitality, and the passengers politeness, the greetings of the gatherers, etc…

  5. Michael Reply

    Pope John Paul II had said that he learned this custom from St. John Vianney

  6. Eme-Natasha Reply

    NW i know. That did gt me evrytime. I thought maybe it was because God made earth. I guess that too 🙂 bless him xx

  7. Franz Cassandra Reply

    Yes, it’s not superstition. I also kissed my school when I graduated. I show my school some love,respect and appreciation. My school has given me education that I deserve. It’s the same as the Pope kissing a country’s ground before leaving. 🙂

  8. andrea Reply

    Thanks for the answer. And i feel it can bea sign that we are dust and unto this dust we shall return

  9. Bill Reply

    its an act of humility and demonstration of willingness to be there, nothing else

  10. chrysanthus maria Reply

    Aside from humility, kissing the ground is a sign of penance like Our Lady asked St. Bernadette to kiss the ground and she always did it in her cell. God bless!

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