t2.bmp (300054 bytes)  St. Peter's Basilica

As we approached St. Peter's basilica, the teenager in our group had to visit a vendor to buy plastic pants to wear over his shorts to get in.
One of the two "arms of God" that encircle St. Peter's Square and welcome you.
Such a vast space!  And to think, a lot of this stone was stolen from the Colosseum.
This must be the overflow area, when there is not enough room in the church.

These chairs are mighty sun baked.

The line of people on the right leads all the way into the church.
Mosaics! So beautiful.
Pioneers of Catholic Orders have statues all along the wall. 
Everywhere we looked, there was something beautiful to see.
The dark awning thing covers the altar that only the Pope may use to say Mass.
Here is a closer view of the Pope's altar and the dark pillars. 
The thing that looks like an amber glowing clock is a panel with a flying dove in the center, not a clock at all.

Mass was being said, way back there against that wall.  We could not get closer.

This is the long view of the picture described below.

Gives you an idea of the crowds.

We had a mere 25 minutes on our own in here, and Karen was shocked at how quickly the time flew.

We were there on the day of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.  This is a statue of St. Peter which comes out one day a year, to be dressed in the robes of a Pope.
One of the Popes?  Brought up for the year 2000 celebration.
Closer look.
It is hard to believe that this lovely picture is not a painting.  But it is a mosaic.  That's why we could take pictures, because the camera flash does not hurt the colored stone the way it does paint.
Karen was very moved in St. Peter's Basilica.
The Swiss-German guards in traditional uniform.  The guide said that at the time, Swiss-German guards were excellent soldiers -- and a little less expensive than German guards.

If you had a special pass, you could approach these guys and go through the archway.  I should have talked to my parish priest!

Every day at noon when he is in residence, the Pope goes to a window and blesses everyone who is there.  We had to leave to continue our tour, but we did meet people who were there at noon and got blessed.

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