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Pope Francis

These are the names of the 17 new cardinals the pope appointed at the consistory

November 19, 2016. 13 of them are under the age of 80, and thus able to vote in a hypothetical conclave, and four of them are non-electors.

Vatican congratulates Trump and hopes his time in office "can truly be fruitful"

November 9, 2016. While speaking to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, congratulated the new president and hoped that his government "can truly be fruitful."

Vatican strongly reacts to episcopal ordinations in China made without pope's permission

November 7, 2016. "In recent weeks, there has been a series of reports regarding some episcopal ordinations conferred without Papal Mandate of priests of the unofficial community of the Catholic Church in Continental China,” explains the Vatican in a letter signed by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke.

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