(Vatican Radio) At sunset on Sunday, Pope Francis descended into the grottoes beneath the high altar of St Peter’s basilica to pray, as is tradition on the Feast of All Souls, before the tombs of his predecessors.
The moment of prayer began at 6pm Rome time with a reading from Scripture and the recitation of the prayer for the dead by Pope Francis.
The Pope then paused for a moment of silent prayer before the tombs of his predecessors beginning with that of St. Peter.
Positioned just below the Renaissance basilica and above Constantine’s 4th century basilica, the grottos contain chapels dedicated to various saints and tombs of kings, queens and popes, dating from the 10th century.
The holiest place is Peter’s tomb, containing the "memory", built in the 4th century by the Emperor Constantine, on the spot were the Apostle’s tomb is venerated.
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