The coffin of Pope John Paul II was removed from the Vatican Grottos on Friday as
the city of Rome prepares for his Beatification on Sunday. The ceremony involved the
reading of the Litany of the Saints as the wooden casket was lifted from the marble
tomb. Attending were Cardinals Angelo Comastri, Tarcisio Bertone, Giovanni Lajolo,
and Stanislao Dziwisz, as well as members of the Curia as well as members of the Vatican
Gendarmerie Corps and Swiss Guards.
The coffin, draped in a white and gold
cloth, has been placed before the tomb of the Apostle Peter, where it will remain
until it is brought to the Altar of Confession in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday,
to allow the faithful a moment of prayer and veneration after the beatification.
On Monday evening, after the Basilica is closed, the coffin will be moved to the chapel
of Saint Sebastian, near the front of the church. The tombstone which covered John
Paul II’s grave in the Vatican grottoes will later be sent to Krakow, where it will
be housed in a church be dedicated to the new Blessed. Listen: