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Rome Reports

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Cardinal Comastri: My mission is that this basilica talks about St. Peter

St. Peter's Basilica: the heartbeat of Roman Catholicism, and the location where Peter himself is buried. 

Yet what many might not know is that there is a committeee in charge of managing and preserving the decorations of the basilica. It is called the “Fabbrica di San Pietro,” and the basilica's archpriest, Cardinal Comastri, is its president. 

CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest, St. Peter's Basilica
“Three months before his death, John Paul II called me to work for the basilica. He told me, 'This is your mission. You must make talk of these stones; the stones that make up the basilica, so that they recount the history of this place.' Above all they should remember that there is only one stone, called Simon, who Jesus named Peter, and said 'on this rock, I will build my Church.'”

The history of the Fabbrica dates back to the commission of the basilica itself, and the work it undertakes allows Cardinal Comastri to complete the task assigned to him. 

CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest, St. Peter's Basilica
“The 'Fabbrica di San Pietro' was born along with the construction of the new basilica in 1506. FLASH 4:25-4:41 The Fabbrica always meets the needs of the basilica. For example, in the last 10 years, we started to restore the entire exterior of the basilica. We restored 30,000 square meters, because the outside of the basilica is 500 years old.”

However, the Fabbrica's careful attention to the pristine preservation of the basilica reaches a depth much further than the eye can see.

CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest, St. Peter's Basilica
“It's beautiful to remember that cleaning and rejuvenating the basilica is also very similar to the mission of the Church. The Church also always has to be cleaned up, to have a “beauty therapy,” to help her rediscover the face that Jesus wants the Church to have. Here while we clean the basilica, we also think that the Church- every day- has to be beautiful, to accomplish the mission that Jesus entrusted to her.”

St. Peter's Basilica is the cornerstone of the Catholic faith, built and shaped over the centuries. Yet despite its grandeur, those entrusted with the large task of restoring and cleaning the basilica continue to humbly work behind the scenes.