Pavilion Guest Register with Pope Paul VI Signature

The Vatican Pavilion and its exhibit proved to be the second most popular attraction of the entire Fair. More than one out of two (52%) of all those who came to the Fair visited the Pavilion of the Vatican No other religious-sponsored pavilion or exhibit at the Fair attracted even one-fifth that number.

Attendance at the Vatican Pavilion was recorded officially as follows:

For the 1964 Fair season 13,823,037 guests
For the 1965 Fair season 13,197,820 guests


27,020,857 guests

His Holiness Pope Paul VI, 15 Cardinals, 1 Patriarch, 3 Apostolic Delegates, 5 Papal Nuncios, and 127 Archbishops and Bishops were among the ecclesiastical visitors to the Pavilion. Civilian guests included the Vice President of the United States, the Chief Justice and 4 other Justices of the United States Supreme Court, 4 members of the Presiden'ts Cabinet and the Governors of 17 states. Foreign guests included the Presidents of 14 countries, 4 Prime Ministers, 15 Foreign Ministers, and 123 other members of the Diplomatic Corps.

The attendance peak for any one day at any pavilion or exhibit at the Fair was set by the Vatican Pavilion on October 17, 1965 - the final day of the Fair - when 183,716 visitors (an average of 225 guest a minute for the 12-hour exhibit day) crowded its confines.

During the last week of the Fair alone, 1,119,869 guest streamed through the doors of the Pavilion of the Vatican apparently determined not to have to chide themselves later for having failed to take advantage of the opportunity to view the exhibit.

The Vatican Pavilion at early morn, the opening day of the 1965 season
Vatican Early Morning

The Vatican Pavilion at night from the roof of the New York State Pavilion, part of the Astral fountain showing in the lower center
Vatican Evening

Crowds throng to the Vatican Pavilion
Vatican Day

Left: The Pavilion's Chapel of the Good Shepherd Right: Close-up of the statue of The Good Shepherd which adorned the altar area of the Chapel

Chapel of the Good Shepherd

 Statue of the Good Shepherd

The tiara of Pope Paul VI as displayed during the 1965 Fair season in the Vatican Pavilion
Pope Paul VI's Tiara

The replica of the Tomb of St. Peter, central exhibit in the Crypt area of the Pavilion
Replica of Tomb of St. Peter

His Holiness Pope Paul VI addresses the throngs from the balcony of the Vatican Pavilion
Pope Addresses Crowd

Source: (all above) Official Guide Book, Vatican Pavilion, New York World's Fair 1964-1965 and the book Vatican Pavilion New York World's Fair 1964-1965 A Chronicle

Aerial view from New York State Observation Tower of the Pavilion of Paris (left) Vatican Pavilion (center) and Belgian Village (behind). Photo courtesy of Joan Lyon.
Source: Photograph &COP Copyright 2000, Alfred Gedney
Vatican from the NY State Pavilion Towers

Reflections from the wet pavement add to the brilliant glow of the Vatican pavilion at night. In addition to the famed "Peita," visitors may view other priceless religious treasures.

Source: News Colorfoto by Edmund Peters, New York Sunday News, July 12, 1964

Vatican Pavilion at Night

Arms upraised, Pope Paul blessed crowd beneath balcony of the Vatican pavilion at the World's Fair. He ended his prayer by simply saying, "Good-by."

Source: New York Sunday News, October, 1965

Popes blesses crowd

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