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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

30,000 per day, 1,250 per hour, 25 per minute

2009-04-06

The number of people visiting the late Pope’s tomb is so considerable, it triples the amount of daily visitors to the Vatican Museum. 

Patiently, they wait in the long lines to enter.  A statue of Saint Peter welcomes the visitors as they enter in groups of fifty.

“Sometimes there are less people waiting to enter, but usually it is a continuous flow.  You would be very lucky to not have to wait in the line.”

The long white corridors and marble vaults lead to the tombs of former leaders.  These tombs give visitors an indication of the Church’s long history.

One of the more prominent tombs is that of John Paul I- the Pope who only spent 33 days in his position, but whose influence is still felt today.

The tomb of Pope Paul VI, organiser of the influential Second Vatican Council.

And of Pope Paul XI, who signed the Lantern Pact and established the state of Vatican City.

Next to the these tombs is the final resting place for Pope John Paul II.  The simple design of this tomb reflects the humility characteristic of Karol Wojtyla.

For Catholics and non-Catholics alike, the mood is intense.  But visitors are at once calmed by an atmosphere that is both welcoming and peaceful.

In silence, some visitors take pictures.  Others pray at the foot of the tomb, while the faithful adorn the Holy Father’s grave with cards, rosaries, and photos. 

A barrier prevents visitors from touching the tomb, an opportunity seized by the late Pope’s personal secretary, Stanislaw Dziwisz.

In a moment of candid emotion, the Archbishop fell to his knee and kissed the marble above the Pope’s final resting place.

It is clear that the Pope’s death has left a void that will be difficult to fill.  The impact of his life is evident in the number of visitors from all over the world who come to see his tomb.

During his pontificate Pope John Paul made hundreds of trips to places across the globe.  With his death, it is the faithful who travel to see him, and to pay their final respects to the beloved leader.