St. Peter's Basilica re-opens to pilgrims with various security measures in place

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St. Peter's Basilica has reopened to the public. Signs outside indicate the necessary sanitary measures to be followed inside, like masks, a distance of five feet and use of hand sanitizer. 

Pilgrims waited in line, standing on yellow tape and red circles, indicating the distance required by Italian law. 

Volunteers from the Order of Malta checked the temperature of each person, to ensure they were healthy, before entering the basilica. 

Once inside, side chapels saw visitors for the first time in more than two months. One area in particular was the side chapel, which holds the body of St. John Paul II. The reopening coincided with the 100th anniversary since his birth. 

A choir also welcomed pilgrims at the main, back chapel for the noon rosary with Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica.

While the faithful admired the statues and beauty inside the basilica, outside the square is still nearly empty, blocked off with wooden gates. 

A line to enter the basilica has not been seen since March 10, when Italy went on complete lockdown and with it, St. Peter's Basilica. 

Melissa Butz

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