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Pastor re-creates the Vatican in Lego for the pope's visit

The Rev. Bob Simon spent 10 months building this miniature model of the Vatican from half a million Lego bricks, now on display at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

The Rev. Bob Simon stands next to his Lego tribute to the Vatican. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

For some of us, our loyal dedication to Lego could be considered a religion. I know when I complete a complicated Lego model it feels like a religious experience.

But for the Rev. Bob Simon creating something cool out of Lego bricks is more than just a fun way to pass the time. The pastor from St. Catherine of Siena Church in Moscow, Pennsylvania, used over half a million Lego bricks and minifigures to re-create this impressively-detailed Lego replica of the Vatican for the pope's visit to the US this week.

The awe-inspiring Lego model features St. Peter's Basilica and includes the statues that line the square, along with minifigures of the pope, nuns, priests, and various tourists.

There's even a nun taking photos of herself with a tiny selfie stick. Plus Simon made sure to add a Lego minifigure version of himself.

"It was an exercise in patience," Simon said. "I was thrilled with the way that everything came out. It was daunting."

Considering that an average Lego piece costs 10 cents, this amazing Lego model of the Vatican is estimated to have cost $50,000 (about £32,195, AU$69,532) to make, according to Fortune magazine.

If you're in Philadelphia, be sure to visit this Lego model of the Vatican now on display at The Franklin Institute.