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Pope Buried in Crypt Below Saint Peter's Basilica


In a ceremony filled with ritual developed over two thousand years, Pope John Paul the Second was buried Friday in a crypt below Saint Peter's Basilica -- near what is believed to be the tomb of Saint Peter, the first Roman Catholic pontiff.

Vatican officials say the late pope wore ceremonial vestments and his bishop's hat was placed on his chest.

A brief summary of his life and pontificate sealed in a lead tube and a small bag of commemorative medals minted during his 26-year reign were the only two items placed inside.

The wooden coffin was then placed in a hermetically-sealed zinc coffin followed by a larger oak casket, then interred beneath a simple marble slab.

Vatican officials say the late pontiff was buried in the spot once occupied by the tomb of Pope John the 13th, whose body was transferred to a Vatican chapel when he was beatified in 2000.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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