Pope John XXIII's body to be transferred from grotto to basilica
Pope John Paul II, recognising the extent of popular devotion to Blessed John XXIII, has decided his tomb should be in St Peter's Basilica rather than in the grotto under the church.
The Vatican press office confirmed on Monday that the body of Pope John, who convoked the Second Vatican Council, had been removed from the grotto last Tuesday after a solemn and formal opening of the tomb and recognition of the body.
The body will be placed in the basilica to make it easier for people to visit his tomb, the press office said.
A recognition ceremony usually takes place before a person is beatified, but Vatican officials did not want to disturb the tomb during the Holy Year, when so many visitors wanted to pray there, said an official at the basilica.