April 13, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Visiting some of Christianity's most important sites is now just a click away. From virtual tours to webcams it's all possible now thanks to technology. The Capuchin friars of San Giovanni Rotondo
, in Italy, were the first ones to embrace this new technology. Ten years ago, they agreed to install a webcam in the church, where the famous Padre Pio is buried.
Then in 2008, the Vatican
jumped on board with so called 'cibervisits.' For example, one can see the Basilica's dome without going up its stairs. One can also take a virtual tour of St. Peter's Square
, or see where the tomb of John Paul II is located. Then there's also a bird's eye view of the Vatican's Governatorate, or even a shot of Castel Gandolfo
, where the Pope takes his yearly vacation.
From Rome one can travel all the way to the Italian town of Assisi
to visit the tomb of St. Francis
. Just a click away, there's also Fatima in Portugal
. There, a camera is installed in the small chapel where the Virgin appeared. Through that camera, one can also follow all the celebrations taking place at the Shrine.
After Benedict XVI visited Lourdes
, France back in 2008, several cameras
where installed so people could follow all the celebrations up close. One can see the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary
and even follow processions. Then from April to October, one can also take part in the procession of torches
that take place at night.
In Bosnia, there's yet another webcam installed in Medjugorje
. From home, one can see the pilgrims and even join in and pray the Rosary. But aside from webcams, one can also take a virtual tour
The tour itself can take visitors through every corner of the church. Then, just a click away, one can travel to Spain to see the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat
. From there one can see the St. Mary Plaza and enjoy the view.
Through technology, a trip to Mexico is easier than ever. Through a camera one can visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
, which is one of the most visited religious sites in the world. The webcam has images of its top ten sites.
The website allows a 360 degree tour of a temple that's almost as big as St. Peter's Basilica. The same applies to the largest church in the U.S: The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington
. From one's computer, one can see the spectacular ceiling tiles and read the explanations on some of its sculptures.
It's definitely the fastest way to travel and it's all for free. A whole world, just a click away.