About Rome

Rome is an important place of pilgrimage, particularly for Roman CatholicsThe Vatican is the home of the Pope, the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Roman Catholics believe that Jesus appointed Peter as the leader of his disciples.

In ancient Greek the name ‘Peter’ is the same word as ‘rock’. Tradition says that after Pentecost and time spent in Jerusalem, Peter went to Rome.

Peter is seen as the first Bishop of Rome and many Christians believe that he was executed and buried on Vatican Hill in Rome. The Head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, is the direct successor to Peter.

Pilgrims visit the Vatican to hear the Pope speak publicly on Wednesdays in Saint Peter’s Square, or attend mass led by the Pope during the year.

The most important site for Roman Catholic pilgrims to Rome is Saint Peter’s Basilica. Pilgrims will visit this basilica, not only in the hope of seeing or hearing the Pope, but also to visit what they believe to be the tomb of Saint Peter, which is found underneath the basilica. The feet of a 13th century bronze statue of Saint Peter have been rubbed smooth by the millions of pilgrims who have come to touch and kiss them over the years.

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