Pope Francis’s weekly Angelus address will be moved back to St. Peter’s Square starting tomorrow, February 7.
The Angelus address, wherein the Pope leads the traditional Marian prayer, is held every Sunday at noontime in the Vatican. In the past seven weeks, the address has been moved indoors and held via live stream due to heightened restrictions brought about by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Rome, Italy. (Read: Popes Francis, Benedict XVI Receive First Dose of COVID Vaccine)
Now, the Pope is once again set to give his weekly address in front of a live audience as Rome slowly eases down its lockdown restrictions. It will be his second live appearance after he was forced to cancel three engagements due to a recurrence of his sciatica— a nerve pain that causes extreme discomfort in his lower back and legs.
Vatican Welcomes Guests
With the eased measures, Italy and Vatican are now slowly reopening their doors to tourists from around the world. And one of the attractions that recently resumed operations is the Vatican Museums.
After reopening in June 2020 when Italy’s national lockdown ended, the Vatican Museums were once again forced to close in November when the second round of strict lockdown was put in place. (Read: A Peek Inside the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican)
The closures meant no guests for the museum that used to host at least seven million visitors every year, hence posing a great opportunity for the staff to update the facilities. During the 88-day closure, the museum staff did maintenance work, re-arranged the exhibit halls, and updated some of their art displays.
“I think it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see it so empty,” said Julia Lammer, an Australian guest who had been living in Rome during the past weeks. She was among those who went to see the Sistine Chapel on its first day of reopening on February 1.
Want to know more about the world-famous Vatican Museums? My Pope had a one-on-one interview with Gianni Crea, the key-bearer of all 500 doors in the museums! Read his story here.