Vatican City, Apr 11, 2005 / 22:00 pm
The members of the College of Cardinals participating in the General Congregations will visit the tomb of Pope John Paul II Tuesday afternoon, a day before it will be opened to the public.
After the Novendiale Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica celebrated by Cardinal Eugenio Araujo Sales, Archbishop emeritus of Rio de Janeiro and Proto-priest of the College of Cardinals, the cardinals will descend to the Vatican grottoes where they will pray before the tomb of Pope Wojtila to pay him homage and ask for his intercession during the next conclave.
The tomb of John Paul II is located near the tombs of Pope Paul VI and his predecessor Pope John Paul I. It is covered by a simple marble slab—commonly used in Italy—with his name inscribed in Latin and an inscription of the Greek symbol for Christ, composed of the letters “X” and “P”.
The back wall of the crypt is adorned with a marble and with an image of the Virgin Mary surrounded by angels.