Loading
500,000 visit Pope during the night
500,000 visit Pope during the night

.- Over 500,000 people came to pay their respects to Pope John Paul II during the first night of viewing in St. Peter’s Basilica.  The Pope lies in state near the Altar of Confession, where he was placed on Monday at 5pm after being carried in procession from the Clementine Hall. The beginning of public viewing by the faithful was moved up from 9pm to 8pm as the lines grew so long they crossed St. Peter’s Square and stretched down the long avenue leading up to the Vatican.  

The uninterrupted flow of people continued throughout the night and into the morning.  Each person on average waited about eight hours to get in to the Basilica.  The Vatican had originally planned to close the Basilica from 2am to 5am for routine cleaning but because of the large crowds it will only be closed from 3am to 4:15am.

During the brief pause last night, police distributed water and blankets to the elderly and to children who were among the pilgrims.

By Tuesday morning more than 500,000 people had filed through St. Peter’s.

The Pope lies in state facing the entrance of the Basilica in a slightly inclined position so that he can be seen by the faithful.  Eight Swiss Guard soldiers flank the Pope in a reverent display of honor and protection.

Dressed in a red chasuble, the Pope’s hands are folded across his chest and are holding his wooden rosary.  Under his right arm is his staff with the image of Nervi’s Crucified Christ, which became the undeniable symbol of his pontificate.

The Pope’s face, while thinned and consumed by the last days of suffering, appears serene nonetheless.  “It looks like he’s sleeping,” remarked a number of visitors.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: