Pope Francis Confirms His Burial Place — the Grave of John XXIII
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Pope Francis has chosen his resting place
(Rome) Pope Francis is preparing his grave, as the press agency I.Media reported. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi SJ confirms the report. This is neither “mysterious” nor something “special”, says Lombardi.
The selection and preparation of a tomb is part of the earthly life cycle of a human being, said the Vatican spokesman.To that effect, the selection of the tomb chosen by Pope Francis is in the Vatican Grottoes.
Vatican spokesman: “Little more availability”
The crypt below the St. Peter’s Basilica and the further underlying necropolis is known as the Vatican Grottoes. Numerous popes were buried in the crypt, some of whom were laid there in the Vatican Basilica in the course of the Causes of Saints.
I.Media published the picture of a tomb. It’s then not certain this really is the final resting place Pope Francis desires himself, as Tiscali reported yesterday and published its own photo.
The currently empty grave
Vatican spokesman Lombardi reported on Saturday that it is the only unoccupied chapel at the moment in the Vatican Grottoes, which is why, in principle, the question arises, where the ceremony will be held in the future.
“Pope of gestures” will be buried in the grave of the “Pope of the Council”
As “Pope of gestures” Francis wants to use the former grave of John XXIII. in which the “Pope of the Council” has lain for 38 years, from 1963 to 2001. Soon after the beatification in September 2000 he was translated into St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis chose, bypassing the rules for the canonization for his miracle-less elevation to the altars in 2014 together with John Paul II. The Polish pope was canonized through the recognition of a second miracle within a regular canonization.
From 2005-2011 John Paul II had initially been buried in this grave until he was transferred to St. Peter’s Basilica.
John XXIII. let himself be buried in a simple sarcophagus of travertine in contrast to his predecessors. The grave inscription reads only Joannes PP. XXIII . Since then, all the popes have been buried in simple manner.
John Paul II., following the example of Paul VI. who found his final resting place in a grave sunken into the ground. On the marble slab in gold letters, which was even more spare, is Joannes Paulus II with the birth and death date.
Cardinal Comastri: “Holy Father, it is yet to be seen who comes first”
The grave niche in the Vatican Grottoes has been unoccupied since 2011. Recently it has been cleaned and “is ready to receive the mortal remains of Pope Francis,” said Tiscali. The Argentine Pope let the Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, know that he wishes that grave for himself. The ideological commonality stressed with a hidden agenda between John XXIII. and Pope Francis found is to continue in the grave.
Cardinal Comastri confirmed that Pope Francis expressed his wish two times. The cardinal had replied: “Holy Father, it is yet to be seen who comes first.” The reference was to the Emeritus Benedict XVI. whose ideas for grave locations are yet unknown.
Near the niche selected for Pope Francis, a white marble sarcophagus was recently placed. Whether it has been prepared for the German Pope remains speculation for now.