Holy Technology!

To celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of Jesus’ birth, the city of Rome is holding a year-long Jubilee that includes cultural exhibits, family events, World Youth Day and Masses celebrated by the Pope. The 13-month celebration began on Dec. 24, 1999. It’s a momentous event for worshippers, and the Jubilee’s orchestrators don’t want technical or logistical difficulties to diminish their ability to worship. Toward that end, they have developed the Pilgrim Card, which they hope will give travellers “peace of mind in [their] stay devoted to faith, conversion and prayer.”

With its magnetically encoded strip, much like that on a credit card, the Pilgrim Card gives holders access to transportation in Rome, acts as a prepaid phone card and allows access to medical insurance. A card costs 65,000 Italian lira, or about $45.

All visitors need to do is provide the Jubilee’s Central Committee with their personal information, length of stay, itinerary and medical conditions.

Visit www.vatican.net or www.jubil2000.org.