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July 2nd, 2008

St. Peter’s Basilica Pics 01

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The Basilica of Saint Peter, commonly known as St. Peter’s Basilica, is located within the Vatican City in Rome. It occupies a “unique position” as one of the holiest sites and as “the greatest of all churches of Christianity. In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, was the first Bishop of Antioch, and later first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. While St. Peter’s is the most famous of Rome’s many churches, it is not the first in rank, an honour held by the Pope’s cathedral church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

Catholic tradition holds that Saint Peter’s tomb is below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes, starting with the first ones, have been buried there. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction on the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed in 1626.

St. Peter’s is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. Contrary to popular misconception, Saint Peter’s is not a cathedral, as it is not the seat of a bishop. It is properly termed a basilica. Like all the earliest churches in Rome, it has the entrance to the east and the apse at the west end of the building.

July 1st, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI Pics 01

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Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger on 16 April 1927, is the 265th and reigning Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church, and as such, Sovereign of the Vatican City State.

He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship. He succeeded Pope John Paul II.

Benedict XVI is a respected Roman Catholic theologian and a prolific bestselling author, a defender of traditional Catholic doctrine and values. He served as a professor at various German universities and was a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council before becoming Archbishop of Munich and Freising and later a Cardinal. At the time of his election as Pope, Benedict had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (curial heads lose their positions upon the death of a pope) and was Dean of the College of Cardinals.

He teaches the importance for the Catholic Church and for humanity of contemplating God’s sacrificial love and has reaffirmed the “importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work.”

Pope Benedict was also the founder and patron of the Ratzinger Foundation, a charitable organisation which makes money from the sale of books and essays written by the Pope, in order to fund scholarships and bursaries for students across the world.

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Pope Benedict XVI Pics – Set 02

Pope Benedict XVI Pics – Set 03

July 1st, 2008

Pope John Paul II Pics 01

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John Paul II, (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005), reigned as the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from 16 October 1978, until his death, almost 27 years later. His was the second-longest pontificate after Pius IX’s 32-year reign. He has been the only Polish pope, and was the first non-Italian pope since the Dutch Adrian VI in the 1520s.

John Paul II was Pope during a period in which the Catholic Church’s influence declined in developed countries but expanded in the Third World. During his reign, the pope traveled extensively, visiting over 100 countries, more than any of his predecessors. He remains one of the most-traveled world leaders in history. He was fluent in numerous languages: his native Polish and also Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Croatian, Portuguese, Russian and Latin. As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he canonized a great number of people.

He beatified 1,340 people , more people than any previous pope. The Vatican asserts he canonized more people than the combined tally of his predecessors during the last five centuries, and from a far greater variety of cultures. Whether he had canonized more saints than all previous popes put together, as is sometimes also claimed, is difficult to prove, as the records of many early canonizations are incomplete, missing, or inaccurate. However, it is known that his abolition of the office of Promotor Fidei (“Promoter of the Faith” and the origin of the term Devil’s advocate) streamlined the process.

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Pope John Paul II Pics 02

Pope John Paul II Pics 03

Pope John Paul II Shot in the Vatican

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