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Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

Virtual tours of St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel


The website of Vatican City offers access to 10 spectacular, 360 degree views. Let us start our tour with Bernini's famous Chair of St. Peter, located on the apse of the basilica. The chair is crowned by this image of a white dove representing the Holy Spirit, surrounded by golden angels. 

Surely you have never been so close to the altar before. From here, the Popes throughout history have chaired the most important liturgical celebrations. Looking up, you will see the elaborate details on St. Peter's baldochin, a large sculpted bronze canopy. 

Furthermore, we can view the length of the nave and find it to be the largest Catholic church in the world. Plus, if you have never traveled to Rome around Christmas time, the tour allows you access to the Basilica's nativity display, or a close up look at one of its most popular sculptures, the Pietà by Michelangelo. 

Another must see attraction is St. Peter's Basilica lit up at nighttime. If you look to the right, you can see the papal residence. The two illuminated windows belong to the Pope's office and his bedroom.

Of course, no tour is complete without visiting one of the most popular sites within the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel. You can admire the vault with great detail, to follow, step by step, the history of Creation, including the well-known fresco that depicts God giving life to Adam. Looking ahead, you will see the representation of Michelangelo's Last Judgment near the altar. On the lateral walls, you will find Bible episodes: on the right, about the life of Jesus, and on the left, about Moses. 

It is a different, easier way to enjoy the Chapel where conclaves are held to choose the next Pope, and St. Peter's Basilica, without leaving home. 

OFL @odelafu /RCA