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Pope Francis

Pope Francis: No people is criminal and no religion is terrorist

February 17, 2017. Pope Francis has sent an important message to the Meetings of Popular Movements that is taking place in Modesto (California). The pope denounces the "moral blindness of this indifference”: "under the guise of what is politically correct or ideologically fashionable, one looks at those who suffer without touching them. But they are televised live; they are talked about in euphemisms and with apparent tolerance, but nothing is done systematically to heal the social wounds or to confront the structures that leave so many brothers and sisters by the wayside”.

The government of the Order of Malta will elect the successor of the Grand Master in April

February 15, 2017. On April 29, the Council Complete of State, the Order’s constitutional body, will elect the next Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta (or, as provided for in the Constitution, a Lieutenant of the Grand Master, to hold office for a year).
Pope Francis

Pope names a Special Envoy for Medjugorje

< style> February 11, 2017. Pope Francis has asked Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as Special Envoy of the Holy See. According< g> the Vatican, "the mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.

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