A friend asked me why millions of people (their words) would seek the blessing of the pope at the vatican? I think it was their attempt to try to equate it with placing him on a divine level. I had no good answer to give, except for explaining that he is the Vicar of Christ. Is there a better explanation for the origin and reason for this? Thanks.
The apostles gave blessings upon others in the name of Christ. Bishops (especially the Pope) are successors of the apostles. Them blessing religious articles and us is merely carrying on the tradition.
Probably for the many of the same reasons that people in the early post-Ascension Church wanted the Peter’s blessing, or even just to touch him or have his shadow fall on them as he passed by. Many people firmly believe that Jesus, acting through His Apostles, may grant them some blessing they desire today just as He did back then.