Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes

Delve into the elaborate elements of Catholic funeral and Papal funeral exhibits and get a glimpse of life inside the Vatican. This extensive exhibit spans 5,000 sq. ft., complete with premium sound and lighting, three-dimensional scenes and multi-media presentations to provide visitors with a true sense of attending a Pope's funeral. Walk through the detailed Catholic funeral and Papal funeral settings to experience the many stages of preparation for the final services and burial of a Pope.

See a full-scale replica of Saint John Paul II's original crypt, an exact reproduction of the coffin used in the funerals of three previous Popes, as well as replicas of other Papal vestments crafted by the tailor shop that made the vestments of the last seven Popes. 

View authentic uniforms worn by members of The Swiss Guard (protectors of the Pope and the Vatican), as well as the actual Popemobile used by Pope John Paul II during his visit to the United Kingdom in 1982, now officially a Saintmobile, since his canonization in 2014.

The National Museum of Funeral History worked extensively with the Vatican for more than three years to produce this permanent exhibit.

"The Making of a Saint" is our newest addition to the Celebrating the Lives & Deaths of the Popes exhibit, which celebrates the Sainthood of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Inspired by the April 27, 2014 canonization mass at the Vatican that elevated these two popes to saints, this new addition offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the process of becoming a saint, from beatification to canonization, and features new papal artifacts as well as a special collection of Saint John Paul II memorabilia, including an authentic 1982 Range Rover “Popemobile” used by Saint John Paul II in the 1980s during his tour of the United Kingdom.

Note: Exhibit text in both English and Spanish.