Twenty-three thousand persons were able to view the solemn ceremony with which Cardinal Roncalli was crowned Pope Johannes XXIII in St Peter's Basilica.
Twenty-three thousand persons were able to view the solemn ceremony with which Cardinal Roncalli was crowned Pope Johannes XXIII in St Peter's Basilica. Among these persons were the foreign delegations representing the whole Christian world, members of European royal families, and the patrician sect of Rome.
The Vatican Basilica was richly adorned for the solemn ceremony: hundreds of chandeliers had been hung along the nave of the church while the columns had been covered with damask drapes. The Papal Throne dominates the benches reserved for the Cardinals, and other church dignitaries and also stands high above the stands erected for diplomatic representatives and other laic authorities.
The Ceremony began at 8.30 am. The Pope descended into the Basilica accompanied by his court and the components, of the Sacred College (cardinals). In the Atrium of the Basilica he received image from the Vatican Capitulum. He then was borne on his palanquin and preceded by the Swiss Guard. The Holy having reached the Chapel of the Holy Trinity alighted to adore the Holy Sacrament. Having then once again taken his place on the palanquin He proceeded to the Chapel of St. Gregory where he took his plane on a throne. Here he received homage from the Cardinals. After this the procession moved to the Papal Altar which is built over the supposed tomb of St. Peter. The Papal Rite Mass then began: this Mass is celebrated in part by the Pope and in part by the assisting Cardinals (Cardinal Canali and Ottaviani) During this mass the Pope was vested with the Papal Vestments. The Consecration was officiated by the Pope who then received His Communion on His throne as is the custom. During the Mass the Pope sang in a clear and steady voice the Musical parts of the rite. At the end of the Mass once again the procession formed and the Pope borne on His palanquin was carried thru the Basilica towards the Hall of the Benedictions. (During this passage of the procession the Pope was greeted by cries of "Viva il Papa" - long live the Pope-) The Pontiff smiled and blessed as he went along (at times he rested his hand on the arm of his chair). Having reached the Hall of Benedictions the large windows of the Central Balcony were thrown open: the Pope took place on a high podium so as to be seen from the square below by the hundreds of thousands who crowded the square. (Rain or no rain the square was filled to overflowing). Here Cardinal Ottaviani (second deacon) took the Mitre from the Pope's head, and Cardinal Canali (first deacon) placed the Triregno (Papal crown) on the new Pope's head. After this the Pope imparted the Holy Benediction "Urbi et Orbi" and was greeted by the resounding cheers from the crowd.