"The Holy See: A Pilgrim's Report" Top 5 Page for this destination Vatican City by Diana75
Vatican City Travel Guide: 1,267 reviews and 3,876 photos
A place like all the others and still unique in its mission, a place marked by the history and men and still above the time and mankind, a place where we all can touch the miracle of our creation, our existance as Christians.
A visit to The Holy See is a pilgrimage to our origins, a meeting with our Christian faith and the memory of the Apostles and martyres.
"The Church can regard no one as excluded from its motherly embrace, no one as outside the scope of its motherly care. It has no enemies except those who wish to make themselves such. Its catholicity is no idle boast. It was not for nothing that it received its mission to foster love, unity and peace among men." (Paul VI, Ecclesiam suam, 94)
As Christian and Catholic, I will never conceive a visit to Rome without visiting the Vatican City, the spiritual centre of the Christendom, with the famous Saint Peter's Basilica and the other three Basilicas located outside the Holy See walls: Saint John in Lateran, Saint Mary Major and Saint Paul outside the Walls, the impressive Vatican Museums, the beautiful Gardens and the fantastic St. Peter's Square.
Vatican City, officially State of the Vatican City is, since the Lateran Agreement (1929), an independent state and actually the world's smallest state, actually a microstate, spreading on approximately 44 ha, having only one thousand citizens.
Other properties of the Holy See located outside the Vatican, in the Italian territory, such as Castel Gandolfo and the Patriarchal Basilicas, have a special status similar to the one of the foreign embassies.
A city within the city and a State within a State, but the whole world in it.
The Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church
The state is governed by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) and the highest state functionaries are all clergymen of the Catholic Church.
The Holy Father is ex officio head of state and head of government of Vatican City. He is the only absolute monarch in Europe.
The Pope is elected for a life term in conclave by cardinals under the age of 80.
The current Pope is Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany.
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