AUR 1920 x 116
AUR 1920 x 116
AUR 1920 x 116
Marymount - International School Rome

Pope Francis has tomb 'prepared' in Rome Basilica of St Mary Major

Pontiff says he will simplify papal funeral ritual.

Pope Francis said his tomb is "already prepared" in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, in an exclusive interview with Mexican broadcaster N+, reported by the Italian media.

Since becoming pope, Francis has made more than 100 visits to the fifth-century papal basilica where he prays in front of the icon of 'Maria Salus Populi Romani' (Our Lady of Health of the Roman People) before and after trips abroad.

The pontiff, who is days away from his 87th birthday, told journalist Valentina Alazraki that despite health problems he has "no thought of resigning" like his predecessor Benedict XVI did in 2013.

Francis paid tribute to Benedict, describing him to Alazraki as a "a great and humble man, who when he realised his limitations had the courage to say enough."

The pontiff also said that he has met the master of ceremonies to simplify papal funerals, joking: “I'll launch the new ritual."

In July 2022, Francis told Alazraki that if he ever did resign from the papacy he would live in Rome, ruling out a return to his native Argentina or staying in the Vatican.

One of the four major papal basilicas in Rome as well as one of the of the city's seven pilgrim churches, Santa Maria Maggiore is in the Esquiline district of the capital near the central Termini train station.

Although situated on Italian soil, the basilica is owned by the Vatican and enjoys extraterritorial status.

The church houses the tombs of several former popes, including Sixtus V, alongside other notable figures including Baroque master Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

General Info

Address P.za di Santa Maria Maggiore, 00100 Roma RM, Italy

View on Map

Pope Francis has tomb 'prepared' in Rome Basilica of St Mary Major

P.za di Santa Maria Maggiore, 00100 Roma RM, Italy

Aur 724x450
FiR 1920 x 190 H3
FiR 1920 x 190 H3
FiR 1920 x 190 H3
Ambrit 320 x 480
Marymount - International School Rome