All posts tagged: St. Peter’s Basilica

Pope overcomes health concerns to preside over a blustery Easter Sunday Mass

Pope overcomes health concerns to preside over a blustery Easter Sunday Mass

[ad_1] ROME (AP) — Rallying from a winter-long bout of respiratory problems, Pope Francis led some 30,000 people in Easter celebrations Sunday and made a strong appeal for a cease-fire in Gaza and a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine. Francis presided over Easter Sunday Mass in a flower-decked St. Peter’s Square and then delivered a heartfelt prayer for peace in his annual roundup of global crises. In between, he made several loops around the piazza in his popemobile, greeting well-wishers. “Peace is never made with weapons, but with outstretched hands and open hearts,” Francis said from the loggia overlooking the square, to applause from the wind-swept crowd below. Francis appeared in good form, despite having celebrated the 2½-hour nighttime Easter Vigil just hours before. The pontiff, who had part of one lung removed as a young man, has been battling respiratory problems all winter. The Vatican said some 30,000 people attended the Mass, with more packing the Via della Conciliazione boulevard leading to the piazza. At the start of the service, a gust of …

Vatican launches massive restoration effort of baldachin in St. Peter’s Basilica

Vatican launches massive restoration effort of baldachin in St. Peter’s Basilica

[ad_1] VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Four hundred years after its creation, the famed baldachin that sits above the tomb of St. Peter in Rome will be restored ahead of the 2025 Jubilee year in what experts described as a titanic undertaking during a news conference at the Vatican on Thursday (Jan. 11). Nearing 100 feet tall and weighing over 60 tons, the bronze and metal structure decorated with gold details towers beneath the dome in St. Peter’s Basilica. The term “baldachin” derives from an ancient name of the city of Baghdad, Iraq, known for its precious fabrics. Four spiraling, 36-foot-tall bronze columns placed on 8-foot-tall marble blocks support a canopy made to resemble richly adorned cloths. Since famed architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini, along with a team of master artisans and artists, completed the imposing structure, the baldachin has suffered significant decay. The Fabbrica of St. Peter’s, which handles the maintenance of the basilica, teamed up with Microsoft to take 6,000 detailed pictures of the baldachin using drones, which revealed that the structure was in dire …