Throughout November the Church remembers our faithful departed, including our saints.
The tomb of Saint John Paul II is the most popular place of pilgrimage within the Vatican, a destination of the faithful, pilgrims and tourists from five continents. It is estimated that some 18,000 people each day pray at the tomb of Karol Józef Wojtyła during the peak summer tourist season.
For those believers who cannot make it to Rome, a virtual pilgrimage, made possible by the internet, is now possible. The final resting place of the saint’s body can be observed in real time via webcam. The image is updated every two minutes.
Although some still look for the saint, canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014, in his original resting place in the Vatican Grottoes beneath St. Peter’s Basilica, his remains were transferred into the basilica itself in 2011.
Today, the faithful and pilgrims visiting the Vatican are able to pray at the tomb of John Paul II in the Chapel of St. Sebastian, which is located just off the basilica’s central nave. It is the second chapel on the right from the entrance, between the niche that houses Michelangelo’s “Pieta” and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
The secretary of the Polish pontiff, Stanislaw Dziwisz, presided over the transfer of the coffin to a visible and accessible place six years after the death of the then Blessed. The remains of the saint are conserved under the altar, behind a marble slab bearing the inscription IOANNES PAVLVS PP. II. The tombs of John XIII and Pius X are also found in chapels within the basilica.
Here is the link to the webcam to observe the tomb of the saint. Note that the picture will appear dark at night.
This article first appeared in the Spanish edition of Aleteia.