From the Holy See Press Office: “With regard to the activity of the Holy Father, the Holy See and Vatican City State in coming days, measures are being studied to avoid the spread of covid-19 to be implemented in coordination with those adopted by the Italian authorities.”

Also from the Vatican: The first Lenten sermon will be held tomorrow, March 6, 2020 at 9.00 am in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace by Father Marko Ivan Rupnik. It will be broadcast live on the Vatican News site player.


I posted a lengthy Vatican News interview on March 2 with Archbishop Paul Gallagher on the opening that very day of Vatican archives relative to Pope Pius XII who reigned from 1939 to 1958, most notably during World War II. Archives that have become available to scholars and researchers come from the Vatican Apostolic Archives and those of the Secretariat of State and a number of Vatican Congregations.

That day I was unable to post the photo EWTN’s Daniel Ibanez took of the archives but I seem to have solved the issue of uploading photos and presenr them today

The Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, says the opening of the Vatican Archives between the years 1939 and 1958 will show the great works of Pope Pius XII, as well as his efforts to communicate with the Soviet Union.

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Abp. Gallagher noted that, in terms of size, the archive is pretty big, “About 2 million documents! And if you put it all together – and it is together – it measures 323 linear meters of documents in boxes, cases, etc.”

He says the documents cover a vast area of activity: the actions of the Holy See during WW2, its diplomacy, Concordats negotiated, the humanitarian work of the Church, reports on particular religious and political issues, educational reports, and documents concerning Vatican City State.

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This week I offer a somewhat unusual edition of Vatican Insider’s interview segment -unusual in the how and where I recorded the segment with Franziska from Cologne, Germany and Alexandra from Warsaw, Poland. These two amazing young ladies were in Rome last weekend for the August 3 meeting that Pope Francis had with an estimated 5,000 participants of Euromoot, an international Catholic scout gathering attended by boys and girls aged 16 to 21 coming from 20 nations.

Franziska and Alexandra, as all the scouts who came to Rome, belong to the International Union of the Guides and Scouts of Europe (UISGE) In fact, they both work with UISGE in the communications field. (Franziska L and Alexandra R)

Euromoot is scout jargon for an international gathering of Rangers (Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) and Rovers (Boy Scouts). So join me on Vatican Insider and you’ll meet two Rangers of the scouting movement!

Our conversation followed a morning audience with Pope Francis and then Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. In the early afternoon, there was no possibility to find a quiet venue such as a studio for our conversation so we stopped off at Homebaked as it was close to our meeting point and not far from their next appointment. And it had air conditioning! There was the occasional background sound of voices and a few times it sounded like a plane had landed near out table so I ask your indulgence as you listen to our conversation. As I mention at the start of our conversation, you can even hear a milkshake being made!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)


It’s been around a few months now and there’s still some work to do on the new website for Vatican City State but it is a good start as it offers terrific photos and many interesting articles, although most are in Italian. The previous website for Vatican City had been translated in five languages and when I tried to find English on the new site, I got nowhere. So, I went to the url ( and simply changed the ‘it’ for Italian to ‘en’ for English and it worked. Not for other languages, however.

To find a few articles in English, click here: Then go to the table of contents (the three little lines in the upper right hand corner) and click on a topic that may interest you (I repeat, not all are in English, no matter what the table of contents implies!). Not all topics are clickable. You might get a 404 ERROR!

One thing I do miss was all the information the former website provided about visiting Vatican City, the gardens, the Museums, Castelgandolfo, the Scavi, St. Peter’s Basilica, climbing to the dome, etc. I put that info (telephone numbers, fax numbers, emails, etc) in my book on the Holy Year and I have a copy in my travel folder in my computer. I’ll publish that in a day or two – just make you keep a copy for yourself as you will not find the info on the new website.

Here is one offering in English on Vatican City State itself:

Vatican City State was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy on February 11, 1929. These were ratified on June 7, 1929. Its nature as a sovereign State distinct from the Holy See is universally recognized under international law.

The Catholic Church carries out its mission of announcing the truth of the Gospel for the salvation of all humanity and in the service of peace and justice in favour of all peoples, both through the various specific and local Churches spread throughout the world, as well as through its central government.

This is made up of the Pope and the Departments that assist him in carrying out his responsibilities towards the universal Church (identified as the Apostolic See or Holy See). The Pope lives in Vatican City where several of the aforementioned Departments are to be found.

Vatican City State has the singular characteristic of being an instrument of the independence of the Holy See, and of the Catholic Church, from any earthly power. In a way, it is a sign of the Church’s supernatural character insofar as the structures of Vatican City are reduced to the minimum necessary to guarantee its functions.

(Click here for a map –

Vatican City lies just beyond the right bank of the Tiber River on a slight rise, part of the ancient Montes Vaticani (the Vatican Hill), on which several villas were built in pre-Christian times.

The Roman Emperor Caligula (37-41AD) had a private circus built here. It appears that many Christians living in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Nero (54-68AD) were martyred in this circus and in the adjoining gardens.

St Peter was buried to the north of the circus, in a necropolis that lay beside a secondary road. Between 324 and 326 AD, the Emperor Constantine built a magnificent basilica over the burial site. It was replaced by the present Basilica between the 16th and 17th centuries.

Vatican City covers a territory of 44 hectares (roughly 108.7 acres). It is partly surrounded by walls and stretches into St Peter’\’s Square as far as a strip of travertine stone that corresponds with the furthest end of the colonnade. This marks the boundary of the State and the edge of the square that is normally open to everyone. Even though it is part of Vatican City, the Square is usually patrolled by members of the Italian Police Force.

There are five entrances to Vatican City, each of them guarded by the Pontifical Swiss Guards and by the Gendarmes Corps of Vatican City State. The entrance to the Vatican Museums is on Viale Vaticano, not far from Piazza del Risorgimento.

Because Vatican City is so small, several departments and offices belonging to the Holy See are situated in buildings around Rome (Piazza Pio XII, Via della Conciliazione, Piazza San Callisto, Piazza della Cancelleria and Piazza di Spagna). According to the Lateran Treaty, these buildings enjoy the same status, recognized by international law, as embassies and foreign diplomatic missions abroad.

The areas occupied by these buildings are commonly known as “extraterritorial”.

The population of Vatican City is about 800 people, of whom over 450 have Vatican citizenship, while the rest have permission to reside there, either temporarily or permanently, without the benefit of citizenship.

About half of the Vatican’s citizens do not live inside Vatican City. Because of their occupations (mostly as diplomatic personnel), they live in different countries around the world. The conferral or loss of citizenship, authorization to live inside Vatican City and formalities for entering the territory, are governed by special regulations issued according to the Lateran Treaty.

There are two sets of initials that identify vehicles registered in the Vatican Automobile Register: SCV (Stato della Citta del Vaticano) for vehicles belonging to the Vatican City State and departments of the Holy See; CV (Citta del Vaticano) for vehicles that are the property of Vatican citizens and individuals who, in agreement with Italian authorities, are allowed to register their vehicles in Vatican City. The international abbreviation is V.

(JFL: For decades, Italians (and a number of Vatican employees) have said that SVC really means “Se Cristo vedesse!” (If only Christ could see!”)


I had a fun experience this afternoon as I was searching for a photo or two of the work done last month in the Vatican’s Teutonic cemetery to see if the remains of Emanuela Orlandi might be buried there as suggested last summer in an anonymous note to the Orland family. As you will read below, I am dedicating a special on VI this week to the missing teenager and I wanted a picture for that article.

I had not saved the Vatican photos I used in my July stories so I searched Google for images under “Teutonic cemetery, vaticannews” and, as I scrolled through the many photos, I found some of my own photos of the cemetery, and Google cited “Joan’s Rome”!…34822.37438..38264…0.0..1.515.1635.10j1j0j1j0j1……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….0j0i5i30j0i8i30.UIDsywDxPUs&ved=0ahUKEwiaqOup0eTjAhUS3aQKHcBLD3cQ4dUDCAY&uact=5#imgrc=ZMLJQl26D2j-UM:


In a departure from my format of an interview at the end of Vatican Insider each week, this week I prepared a special for VI on the deepening mystery of the Emanuela Orlandi disappearance – a mystery that has stumped a family, Vatican City officials and Italian officials for 36 years, a mystery that deepened with some events this summer. So tune in for that tale!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)


Vatican City State is to implement a system for reporting crimes and cases of negligence regarding the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by the end of the year.
By Vatican News

The Cardinal Vicar of Vatican City State announced Tuesday that “a public, permanent, and easily accessible system for reporting crimes and negligence in the area of child abuse and vulnerable adults” will be put in place by the end of the year.

On the same day, Cardinal Angelo Comastri sent a letter to the heads of all Vatican Dicasteries and associated spiritual assistants.

According to the Osservatore Romano, the missive contained details on the procedure for bringing to light any information and accusations of abuse.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis promulgated new rules for the protection of minors within Vatican territory and the Roman Curia, as well as throughout the universal Church, both of which took effect on 1 June.

Contact Person
The Osservatore Romano reports that the new system will be gradually integrated with existing measures, such as those identified in the Guidelines for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons for the Vicariate of Vatican City.

The Guidelines created a “Contact Person” for anyone who has “information or suspicions that a minor or vulnerable adult is at risk of abuse or has suffered it in connection with the pastoral activities of the Vicariate, along with any act of negligence on the part of the Authorities.”

Msgr. Robert Oliver, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, was appointed as the contact person in June.



The small but very beautiful Teutonic Cemetery is in Vatican City between St. Peter’s Basilica and the Paul VI Audience Hall. Vatican City State’s website tells us, “it is the oldest German establishment in Rome. The entire area is surrounded by a high wall but even a rushed visitor will quickly be drawn by the charm of this plot of land so rich in history. In ancient Roman times Nero’s circus was found here and it was the site where many Christians were martyred. The cemetery was founded around 799, when Pope Leo IV presented the land to Charlemagne for a school.”

It is beautiful and peaceful and well kept – almost charming, if one can say that of a cemetery. …the beautiful headstones, mosaic stations of the cross, the plants and trees and flowers.

The Holy Year 1450 brought many pilgrims to Rome. The cemetery and the church were in terrible shape at the time, but both were soon rebuilt. In 1454 the German members of the Curia formed a special Confraternity that still exists today and is now called the “Archconfraternity of Our Lady.”

Over the years institutes of study were built and two chapels were attached to the cemetery, one of which would serve as the burial place for Swiss Guards who died in 1870 defending Rome against the forces of the new Kingdom of Italy.

Being a member of this Confraternity is said to be essential if one wishes to be buried in the Teutonic Cemetery. You also have to prove German ancestry, going back as far in time as possible. According to the statutes, those who have a right to be buried here include members of the Archconfraternity, members of many religious houses of German origin and members of the two German colleges in Rome (the Anima and the Germanico).

In 1876 a residence was built for priests studying Christian archaeology, church history and other similar fields.

On the outer wall you can see a ceramic plaque naming Charlemagne the Emperor as the founder of this cemetery. And the inscription CAROLUS MAGNUS ME FUNDAVIT – CHARLEMAGNE FOUNDED ME!

Seems that when the emperor came to Rome, the Pope made him a gift of this land so he could build a residence and set up a Schola Francorum, a hospice for pilgrims from Franconia who were starting to pour into Rome. Some of the pilgrims arrived after their long and arduous journey so tired and worn out after their trials and dangers of the trip over the Alps that they died in Rome, asking before they died to be buried close to the goal of their pilgrimage, that is, the tomb of St. Peter.

The words on the Gates: Teutones in pace – Germans in peace!

To walk through this beautiful and peaceful place and to read the headstones is to read a history book, and perhaps even a book of spirituality. One special grave is that of Jesuit Father Engelbert Kirschbaum, an archaeologist and key person in the discovery of Peter’s tomb. He died in 1970.

Legend has it that Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, had earth from the Holy Land, from Golgotha, spread over this land to symbolically unite the blood of Christ with that of the Roman Martyrs.


The Vatican inaugurated a new website today for Vatican City State, the first update since 2012. The graphics, videos, and photos are wonderful but when I looked for other language versions (es for Espanol, fr for Francais, etc) I could find none. However, I did a little test: in the link, I substituted /en for /it and found English. Here’s the original link: Here’s English: However, you have to go to the top right of the homepage and click on the 3 lines (the index to content) to actually get the English content. I hope that’s clear!

I posted a link this morning on my Facebook page to the Washington Post interview with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. The archbishop is clear and very detailed in his answers to the Post’s 40 questions, He did write n/a to several persons questions (such as where he is living) when he deemed it ‘not applicable’ to answer. Here is a link to the full article – an absolutely fascinating read!


Pope Francis continued his new Wednesday general audience catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, telling the faithful in St. Peter’s Square today, “we have seen that the Church’s evangelizing mission begins with the resurrection of Christ. As the disciples, together with Mary, waited in the Upper Room for the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit, they were united in prayer. From the beginning, the Church appears as a communion, a community, the People of God. Christ’s choice of twelve Apostles shows the continuity between the Church and the people of Israel.

“After the defection of Judas,” continued the Pope, “the Apostles were conscious that his place in the Twelve had to be taken by another. Guided by Peter, the community as a whole joined in prayer to discern the Lord’s choice of Matthias. Jesus had told his disciples that they would be known by their love for one another (Jn 13:35).

Francis said, “the visible communion of the Apostles was their first form of witness to the Risen Lord and his saving love. May we too bear witness to the reconciling power of that love by our unity, which triumphs over pride and divisiveness, and creates from diversity the one People of God.”


In greetings to Polish pilgrims attending today’s general audience, Pope Francis said “I know that many of you and thousands of your countrymen took part in the life parades last Sunday, bringing the message that life is sacred because it is a gift from God. We are called to defend it and serve it from conception in the womb to age advanced, when it is marked by infirmity and suffering.

“It is not permissible to destroy life,” stated the Holy Father, “to make it the object of experimentation or false conceptions. I ask you to pray that human life will always be respected, thus witnessing to Gospel values especially in the context of the family. From my heart, I bless you and your loved ones.”


The Vatican Wednesday issued a decree that recognized “the heroic virtues of Servant of God Augustine Tolton, diocesan priest, born in Brush Creek, (USA) April 1, 1854 and died in Chicago July 9, 1897.”

Fr. Tolton (Ave Maria Press)

The decree announcing Fr. Tolton’s heroic virtues was one of eight similar decrees announced Wednesday by the Vatican. The Pope authorized their publication in a meeting yesterday with Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Icon of Fr. Tolton

The Missouri-born priest was the first African American ordained as a Catholic priest. Born of slaves, and a former slave himself, Augustus was reared as a Catholic and named Augustine when he was baptized. He studied in Rome where he was ordained at St. John Lateran basilica on Easter Sunday, 1886. Fr. Tolton was assigned to the diocese of Alton, today the diocese of Springfield, and actually worked in his home parish of Quincy, Illinois. He was eventually assigned to Chicago where he helped build St. Monica’s Church which became home to black American Catholics.

A site is dedicated to Fr. Tolton in the diocese:


There’s been more disturbing news from China over the weekend as you will see in the story from AsiaNews. If you happen to be interested in the Catholic Church in Asia, and especially what’s happening in China, given the September accord between the Vatican and China on the naming of bishops, the site to visit is


It was five minutes after eight o’clock on the evening of November 5, 1943 when bombs rained down on Vatican City State.

The attack, perpetrated by an unidentified fighter plane, caused no casualties but much destruction to the Vatican railway station and to the art laboratory where mosaics were made. The back wall of the “Governatorato” building that housed offices and private apartments was also slightly damaged.

Vaticannews photo:

According to Augusto Ferrera, author of a book entitled “1943: Bombs on the Vatican,” the aim of the bombing was to destroy Vatican Radio and its mission to keep hope alive and help families by broadcasting messages to prisoners of war.


It was a busy weekend for the Holy Father who on Friday, November 2, All Souls Day, celebrated Mass at Rome’s Laurentino cemetery, one of 12 in the Eternal City, and on Saturday presided at a Requiem Mass for deceased Popes at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter’s Basilica. In addition, EIGHT Cardinals and a Patriarch who dies this past year were remembered, as were 154 Bishops from nearly 40 countries.

In his homily, the Pope reflected on Jesus’ parable of the Ten Bridesmaids, as recounted in St Matthew’s Gospel, who “go out to meet the Bridegroom”. He drew a parallel between this “going out” and our own lives that, he said, are a “constant call to go forth” – from the womb to the tomb. We are always on the move, he added, “until we make our final journey”. Our life is a constant preparation for the wedding banquet, for meeting Jesus, the Bridegroom.

On Sunday, after praying the Angelus with the faithful in a rain splashed St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis expressed his sorrow at the terrorist attack that struck the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt on Friday. He prayed for the victims, noting they were killed “for the mere fact of being Christians.” 7 pilgrims were killed and at least 19 others injured in the attack on two buses carrying Coptic Christians near to the monastery of St Samuel the Confessor in Minya. 28 were killed there last year. Francis and the faithful then recited the Hail Mary and he asked “Mary Most Holy to console the families and the entire community in the wake of this latest terrorist attack.”

The 19 jihadists responsible for the arrack were all killed by Egyptian security forces over the weekend.


Pope Francis received a delegation from the ancient community of Mountain Jews to discuss Holocaust anniversaries and the problems of anti-Semitism today.
By John Waters (vaticannews)

Pope Francis on Monday held a meeting with representatives of the World Congress of Mountain Jews. It is the first time that a delegation from this community, which dates back to the 5th Century, has travelled to meet a Pope.

Past and present
Mountain Jews were descended from the Persian Jews, who came from modern day Iran. They were known to be great warriors and horsemen in the past. They lived in mountainous communities near the Caspian Sea for many centuries but, after the fall of the Soviet Union, are now spread across many regions, with the largest communities living in Russia and Azerbaijan.

The Pope began by recalling his most recent meeting with a Jewish community during his visit to Lithuania in September. That visit commemorated the Seventy Fifth anniversary of the destruction of the Jewish ghetto in the Lithuanian capital city, Vilnius.(Vatican photo from Lithuania visit)

Holocaust anniversaries
Pope Francis pointed out that a number of other Holocaust-related anniversaries are fast approaching. He mentioned the anniversaries of the raid on the Jewish ghetto in Rome and the anniversary of increased persecution of German Jews by the Nazi’s. The latter used to be known as ‘kristallnacht’, the ‘night of broken glass’, due to the destruction of many Jewish shop fronts and synagogues, though more recently historians have preferred terms referring to the destruction of people and lives.

“The attempt to replace the God of goodness with the idolatry of power and the ideology of hatred ended in the folly of exterminating human beings. Consequently, religious freedom is a supreme good to be safeguarded, a fundamental human right and a bulwark against the claims of totalitarianism” he said.

About 1,500 Mountain Jews were killed during the Holocaust, mostly from Crimea. Most of the community was not affected by the Holocaust, partly because Nazi forces did not reach their territories and partly because the Nazis considered them to be religious Jews, rather than racial Jews, who were a higher priority target for the Nazi regime.

Anti-Semitic attitudes
The Pope went on to note that there are still anti-Semitic attitudes in society today: “As I have often repeated, a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots. It would be a contradiction of faith and life. Rather, we are called to commit ourselves to ensure anti-Semitism is banned from the human community”.

Quoting from the prophet Isaiah, Pope Francis called on all religions to help the world “Turn spears into pruning hooks” so that communities may experience a period of patient reconciliation. He ended his speech with a traditional Hebrew blessing: Shalom Aleichem!

by Bernardo Cervellera

Two priests belong to the ancient Diocese of Xiwanzi; the other two to that of Xuanhua. All four refuse to register in the Patriotic Association. For this they are subjected to indoctrination and isolation. In Shangcai (Henan), the cross of the bell tower and some spires are destroyed.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Four priests from the underground community of the diocese of Zhangjiakou (Hebei) were taken away by police because they refused to join the Patriotic Association.

The diocese of Zhangjiakou was formed by the government and includes two ancient dioceses, that of Xiwanzi and Xuanhua

Fr. Zhang Guilin of the Diocese of Xiwanzi (photo)

All priests were taken from their churches to a nearby hotel to be indoctrinated on the religious policy of the Chinese government. They are being subjected to this because they refuse to enroll in the Patriotic Association, which aims to create a Church independent of the Holy See.

According to some sources, Fr. Zhao is instead under house arrest, where he is also subjected to indoctrination.

Since China and the Vatican signed an agreement on the appointment of bishops, with which – at least in theory – the Pope is recognized as head of the Catholic Church – the Patriotic Association (PA) and the United Front have been waging a campaign to remind all priests that the Church in China “despite the agreement”, is “independent” and for this it obliges the underground priests not registered to join the Patriotic Association.

Many underground priests want to be recognized by the government, but do not want to belong to the PA, which according to Benedict XVI’s Letter to Catholics, has statutes that “are irreconcilable” with Catholic doctrine.

The message Pope Francis sent to Chinese Catholics immediately after the agreement, does not deal with this burning theme among the underground faithful. AsiaNews sources state that the Vatican’s position towards the PA has not changed and the Vatican delegation hopes to face the issue of the statutes of the PA in the future. Wang Meixiu, a religion expert at the Academy of Social Sciences, suggested that the PA should be an association with an optional membership.

In the meantime, however, both in Hebei and in Henan, the number of underground communities suppressed and unable to gather is growing. Many crosses and decorations of the sacred buildings are destroyed in the name of the sinicization of the submission of the Catholic faith to the Chinese culture, but above all to the PA and to the United Front, undermining every attempt at evangelization.

On the first of November, the Cross from the bell tower of the church of Shangcai (Henan) was destroyed, along with the spiers of the building. The church has been sealed and nobody can use it as a place of worship.

Many underground Catholics, observing the media silence on their suffering, feel “abandoned”, “forgotten” and even “betrayed”.



I’ve prepared a rather different segment this weekend in place of the usual weekly interview on “Vatican Insider.” Just to tease you, here’s how it starts:

“Here we are at an almost mid-way point in the summer, a time when you’re possibly on vacation, and if not vacation, a tranquil weekend at home, hopefully relaxing and enjoying family and friends and some down time. Wherever you are, if you’ve decided to spend a brief moment with me on Vatican Insider this weekend, I think I have a fun offering for you in what is normally the interview segment.

I’m calling this segment INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW because I’m going to bring you some trivia, that is, some little known and often unusual facts about the Vatican – some fun stories about bells and flags and basilica floors. It might be trivia but it is not trivial!

Let’s start with some bells: Did you know that the six bells of Saint Peter’s Basilica all have names?

Stay tuned so you can discover their names – there’s LOTS more where this came from!”

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)


The links that follow are from the website that virtually every visitor to St. Peter’s Basilica should know – – a site put together after extraordinarily exacting research by my friend Alan Howard. I mentioned it in this column on Wednesday after the Mass I attended in the Madonna Bocciata chapel, using Alan’s information to supplement my photos.

SCAVI: The scavi should be an integral part of every trip to the Vatican but you must absolutely reserve in advance, often months in advance. Where are the scavi? What are they? How can I reserve tickets? Here are the answers:

Photo from Vatican website:

ST. PETER’S SQUARE: Before you even enter St. Peter’s Basilica, here’s what you should know about the colonnades, the square, the basilica façade, the statues of the Apostles in the square, the clock towers, and much more! Print this out and bring it with you on your next trip!

JFL photos:

TOURIST INFORMATION: This link is so rich in information for tourists, you’ll wonder how you missed it in the past (if you do not already know it):

That’s it for today – more in coming weeks!