Vatican takes homeless on tour of Sistine Chapel

Visit for group of 150 followed by dinner.

A group of 150 homeless people will be taken on a private guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel on the afternoon of 26 March, according to Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

The homeless people, all of whom frequent the St Peter's area, will enter the Vatican through an entrance normally reserved for prelates and employees of the city state. Their visit will allow them to see the Vatican Gardens, before three groups of 50 homeless begin the museum tour.

The Sistine Chapel will be closed to regular visitors after 16.00 on 26 March to allow exclusive access to the homeless group whose visit has been organised by the office of papal charities.

The tour will be followed by a prayer service and a private dinner for the group, in what is Pope Francis' latest gesture for the city's homeless.

The Vatican recently began offering homeless people free shaves and haircuts on Mondays, as well as installing special washing facilities in St Peter’s Square.