Pope John Paul I, reigned from 26 August 1978 to 29 September 1978

I remember that summer of 1978, traveling across the country and hearing on the car radio that the Pope had died; so a new Pope was elected, took the name John Paul, and he too was dead within a month. Even if you're Pope for only a month, though, you're eligible to be entombed in the Grotto of the Vatican. This grotto is directly beneath the main floor of the church, and is publicly accessible. Below this level are ancient necropoli, including the area where St. Peter is believed to be buried, and that area is accessible only to groups by prior appointment. Our UW group toured the necropolis later in November, so look for future stories linked from this page and elsewhere in the kellytravels site.