Friday, March 30, 2007

Mass in the Clementine Chapel 2/12/2007

It has been more than a month since a priest friend of mine celebrated mass in the Clementine Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica, but his mother just sent me the pictures today. The Clementine Chapel is a chapel that was part of the original basilica and was renovated by Clement VIII. It is just behind the confessio and backs right up to the tomb of St. Peter. That means it is underneath where the Pope would stand at the main altar inside St. Peter's. Behind the altar in the picture you can see a marble slab through the grill. That marbel goes back to the Emperor Constantine when he decided to encase the tomb of St. Peter to protect it and make it ideal for visitors. The relics of St. Peter are stored on the right hand side of the tomb if one is looking at the tomb from this point of view.

Oh, and a silly franciscan friar was also there.

Here's a better view of the chapel without me or Fr. Jamie.

Beautiful huh? If you want to visit this chapel, you either have to arrive at St. Peter's at 7:00 in the morning and ask to attend mass (it might not be possible if a group has reserved the chapel and if it is full), or you can go on the Scavi Tour underneath St. Peter's, which will also allow you to see the where the relics of St. Peter are kept. The tour is only 10 Euro but one has to make reservations well in advance, at least a few months. It is well worth the effort.


forget me not said...

Thank you for these interesting posts Br. Chris. I found the ones about a new name especially thought provoking.

I wanted to let you know I've changed my blog address to wordpress. There's an explanation for it at my new address:

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Thanks for the comment, forget me not. And thanks for the note about why you moved. I might just do the same.

About the Name, just the other night another scripture passage came to me... "In your name I will lift up my hands" Ps 63

Peter said...

Hey Father Gaffrey,

I'm not sure if you'll see this comment on a 5 year old blog, but I thought I'd leave it anyway -
I have just been able to reschedule vacation time and am going to Rome in march. The specific reason I want to go is to go on the tour of the Vatican Necropolis (the last time, I went, I thought the bones of St. Peter were in the confession, but have since learned extensively about the necropolis and the monument originally built over St. Peter's tomb).

I am most excited about being able to see the Clementine Chapel though, and seeing part of the monument that Constantine built, and visiting for a thousand years predating the "new" St. Peter's basilica. And I would love to worship at mass while I'm there.

But I'm going without a priest! I'm trying to find information about a pilgram group that may happen to be there that I could contact now and perhaps arrange to attend mass with them, or how I could otherwise go to mass there. Any recommendations?

Also, you said that they have mass there at 7 AM? Is that still true and how would we go about attending mass? I'm sure the Church doesn't want random tourists entering mass for curiosity's sake so I'm trying to set this up ahead of time.

Peter Fata