Visiting the Vatican - What to See and Do

Visit the Tomb of John Paul II

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John Paul tomb Vatican

John Paul II, Pope of the Church of Rome from October 16th 1978 ti his death in 2005, has been one of the most charismatic figures of the 20th century’s history, and his legacy remains alive in the heart of millions of Catholics.

His pontificate, long and with great international projection, lived parallel to western contemporary history marked a decisive period in the modern history of the Catholic Church. His figure is object of devotion and the enormous impact of his death and subsequent beatification is a milestone in the evolution of the Church.

For these reasons, this is one of the most visited places in St Peter’s Basilica, and in this article we will offer some information of your interest to take into account for your visit.

Location

John Paul II rests in the Basílica, in the  Chapel of St Sebastian. From the entrance, it is the second one on the right.

This chapel, right next to the home of Pietà by Michelangelo, is dominated by a mosaic of the martyrdom of the saint, the work of Pier Paolo Cristofari, based on a painting by Domenichino; the ceiling is decorated with mosaics by Pietro da Cortona. Under the altar, since May 2nd 2011, behind a marble stone and with the inscription «BEATVS IOANNES PAVLVS PP. II», the Church keeps the mortal remains of John Paul II.

Curiosities

The Chapel of Saint Sebastian, not very frequented in the past, is now one of the most visited places in the Basilica by hundreds of believers who gather daily to pray or attend mass in it.

Such is the impact of this new location that many have renamed the chapel as the “John Paul II” Chapel.

The Blessed shares the chapel with two queens and two Popes: The queens are Matilda of Tuscany and Christina, Queen of Sweden. The Popes are Pius XI and Pius XII. These personalities did not imagine their rest would be so transited.

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