EWTN Catholic Q&A
Pope's buried
Question from Debra Goodwin on 04-02-2005:

Where are our Popes buried? I assume at the Vatican. Are they in vaults? And how many of them are there?

Thanks so much

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 04-14-2005:

I believe that the Vatican has stated that there are 70+ popes buried in the grottos under St. Peter's Basilica. Each pope determines where he is to be buried. Also, some that have been canonized or beatified are located in the main basilica, under altars or monuments. These include Gregory the Great and Leo the Great, and most recently Blessed John XXIII was moved from the site where Pope John Paul II is now buried into the Basilica proper.

Some Popes are bured above ground in sacrophagi, others below ground level, as Pope John Paul II was.