VATICAN CITY—Hurrying outside after hearing a disturbingly loud thud against the side of the church, Pope Francis was reportedly left to clean up the remains of a dead angel Monday that flew straight into one of the Sistine Chapel’s windows. “It’s really sad; it seems like one of these guys crashes into a window at least once a week,” said the pontiff, who appeared visibly distressed while sweeping up the feathers scattered around the angel’s lifeless body. “Most of the time, their necks break and they die instantly, but once in a while they’re still twitching a bit. That’s when I find it’s best to put them out of their misery with a shovel.” At press time, the Bishop of Rome was attempting to scrape off an angel splattered on the windshield of the Popemobile.
Tag Archives: Vatican
Vatican declares official ‘miracle’ after Audi driver indicates before lane change
“It’s a miracle! We brought you a bottle of Highland Spring”
The figures show that residents of the Vatican consume 74 litres of wine on average – roughly equivalent to 105 bottles over the course of a year.
That’s around double the amount drunk by the average person in France or Italy as a whole, and triple the quantity consumed in the UK.
There is no denying that the population of the Vatican represents an unusual, and rather uniform, demographic.
As well as the occupational hazard of being required to take ceremonial Communion wine, the National Catholic Reporter said Vatican residents are more likely to be old, male, highly educated and eat in larger groups – all factors that can contribute to greater wine consumption.
These aspects of the Vatican’s national character are more likely to put it at the top than simply its size alone – though other so-called microstates also featured prominently in the Wine Institute’s list.
The fact that it only has a population of around 800 people does make it easy for per-capita figures to be distorted by outlying groups, however – and in the Vatican there is reportedly a single supermarket supplying everyone with wine almost completely tax-free.
The Vatican put their traditional calendar for next year on sale without the need of hiring professional models, since the most handsome and sexy priests were there already.
The Calendario Romano website introduced the latest edition of the printed calendar that Vatican priests do every year in collaboration with Italian photographer Piero Pazzi.
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This is not an official Vatican product, according to El Mundo, but it has been well-accepted by Catholics in Rome who bought it for 10 Euro.
Each month of 2014 is accompanied with the photograph of a young priest photographed by Pazzi during their daily lives, serving the community or smiling for a pose and wearing their robes.
The Italian photographer said that almost 75,000 copies of the calendar are sold every year.
The priests posed voluntarily, after the success obtained since 2004, with a hat, reading the newspaper, reading a book, or making a face.
The Vatican introduced the sexiest members of the Vatican, with a similar idea to women’s calendars made throughout the world.
The project has received positive criticism on social networks by Catholics, mostly women, who have shown their interest in seeing the most handsome priests of the church.
Some have even joked that these celibate men are being “wasted”.
Every month is in a different language thanks to people from other European and American countries showing their interest in buying a copy of the calendar.
The Vatican is also selling a cat calendar titled “Romantic Cats 2014” showing photographs of the cute little animals.
If geography is destiny, it is only appropriate that the Vatican Museums hold one of the world’s greatest art collections. Home to masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian, the Vatican has always been a place sacred to the arts. The poetic and creative impulses of the hill beside the Tiber are revealed in its name: The ancient Romans called this modest eminence the Mons Vaticanus, a reference to the poets and seers, or vates, who dwelled there. For many centuries, popes, cardinals, and the religious orders were responsible for the realization of dozens of masterpieces. So many of the treasures in the collections of the Vatican Museums—gorgeously reproduced in Black Dog & Leventhal’s The Vatican: All the Paintings and clearly described by Anja Grebe—depict a vibrant and vivid view into a world of beauty and faith. Walking through the Vatican, or turning the pages of the book, we get an incomparable lesson in the history of art and a profound impression of the skill and passion of the artists, and of their wonderful “force of mind.”
One of the most famous paintings in the Raphael Rooms is the School of Athens representing philosophy and science, disciplines in which Raphael includes painting and architecture. It is in part an homage to some of the most important artists and scholars active at the papal court at the beginning of the sixteenth century, most importantly the architect Bramante, to whom Raphael owed his recommendation to Julius II. This painting, whose sophisticated perspective opens up a deep vista in the small room, represents an idealized gathering of scholars and artists from the classical world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, and constitutes one of Raphael’s greatest achievements.
Michelangelo’s enormous painting unites some 390 persons around the central Christ figure, and almost all are naked. The work depicts the resurrection of the dead and their separation into the saved and the damned. While the saved souls ascend to heaven on Christ’s right-hand side, the side of the “just,” the damned descend to hell on his left. The nude figures, particularly the saints, offended many of Michelangelo’s contemporaries. The stern theologians at the Council of Trent denounced the fresco and commissioned painter Daniele da Volterra to paint vestments and fig leaves over some of the naked figures in 1565, a year after Michelangelo died. These alterations were reversed during the chapel’s restoration.
The first room Borgia Apartments, the Room of the Mysteries of Faith, is decorated with scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The Annunciation of the Birth of Christ is the first in the sequence. Pinturicchio has painted the event, which according to the Gospel of St. Luke occurred in Mary’s house, in a palatial Renaissance-style interior closed off at the back by an architectural element resembling a triumphal arch. The Annunciation itself takes place in the foreground of this rigorously symmetrical fresco. Mary, wearing a blue mantle, kneels on the right and offers a humble gesture of greeting to the angel, who approaches her from the left holding a lily.
The Stefaneschi Polyptych is one of the oldest works in the Pinacoteca. It is closely tied to the history of the Vatican. The Florentine painter Giotto di Bondone completed this richly gilded double-sided work between 1320 and 1330 for the high altar of Old St. Peter’s. The polyptych was commissioned by Cardinal Jacopo Caetani Stefaneschi (ca. 1270–1343), whom Giotto portrays at the feet of St. Peter’s throne holding a detailed model of the altar on which the donor himself can be seen. This likeness is regarded as one of the first realistic portraits in the history of painting.
This panel of St. Jerome is one of Leonardo da Vinci’s more enigmatic works. It was painted around 1482, the year Leonardo moved from Florence to the ducal court in Milan. It is not known why the highly innovative picture was never finished. It may be that the work failed to meet with the approval of a possible patron or that Leonardo’s own perfectionism led him to abandon it. From a contemporary point of view, the work is fascinating precisely because of its sketch-like state, as this affords an insight into Leonardo’s painting method. The work was only identified in the early nineteenth century—by the painter Angelica Kaufmann—as the work of Leonardo. It was acquired by Pius IX for the Pinacoteca Vaticana in 1856.
The healing of the lame man was St. Peter’s first miracle as an apostle. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter healed a crippled beggar by the door of the Temple with the simple words: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” (Acts 3:6). Raphael sets the scene beneath the mighty twisted columns of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, whose form and decoration Pieter van Aelst has skillfully translated into tapestry. In the center column we see the act of healing taking place, with apostles St. Peter and St. John and the lame man. Raphael has chosen to depict the moment when St. Peter takes the beggar, who is sitting on the floor, by the hand and thereby effects the miracle.
In early 1506 a large marble sculptural group was discovered in the Esquiline vineyards. In his Natural History, the classical author Pliny the Elder (ca. 23–79 AD) describes the Laocoön as a work that is “to be preferred to all other works of painting and sculpture.” This sculptural group, acquired by Julius II in 1506, was one of the earliest works to be exhibited in the Cortile Ottagono and it remains among the most famous of all antique sculptures. Thought to have been made after a Greek bronze original, the group depicts the gruesome death of the Trojan priest Laocoön after warning his fellow citizens of the deception involving the Trojan Horse. Artists such as Michelangelo admired the realistic depiction of the play of muscles, shown here at the point of their greatest exertion, and the convincing facial expressions and gestures of figures in the throes of death.
The Apollo Belvedere is perhaps the most famous statue in the Vatican Museums and one of the best-known sculptures in the history of art. This figure of the antique god of the Muses and of war was discovered virtually undamaged at the end of the fifteenth century and put on display by Julius II in the Belvedere courtyard by 1508 at the latest. The larger-than-life-size statue depicts Apollo not as the art loving god of the Muses holding a lyre, but instead in a more martial pose. Disseminated in numerous reproductions, the sculpture has been regarded as the epitome of classical beauty ever since it was put on display in the Cortile Ottagono.
This large solid-gold fibula, used to fasten its owner’s robes at the shoulder, is one of the most precious objects in the Gregorian Etruscan Museum. It was found in the socalled Regolini-Galassi tomb in a previously undisturbed necropolis at Cerveteri in 1836. Together with other richly decorated gold items that also found their way into the Vatican, the clasp formed part of the ceremonial dress of the deceased, who must have been a member of the highest aristocracy or even the royal family.
According to Christian legend, St. Longinus was the soldier who pierced the side of Christ on the cross with his spear (John 19:34). He is also identified with the Roman captain described in the Gospel of St. Mark as having acknowledged Christ’s divinity after seeing him die: “Truly this man was the son of God!” (Mark 15:39). Longinus was the subject of great veneration as the first pagan convert in the Catholic Church. Bernini sculpted the colossal statue of the saint, one of his most famous creations, for the Longinus pier between 1628 and 1638. St. Longinus stands in a contrapposto stance with widespread arms, symbolizing his readiness to embrace the Christian faith. The emotion and excitement of the saint at the moment of recognizing God is revealed through his ecstatic, upward gaze and the agitated folds of his mantle, which are also examples of Bernini’s mastery.
The “Madonna and Child with Saints” is one of Pietro Perugino’s most beautiful paintings. Especially stunning is the virtuoso rendering of the sumptuous fabrics. Each figure is given an individual, almost portrait-like expression. The artist proudly signed his masterpiece on the footrest underneath the Madonna.
By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
December 3, 2013 — Updated 1905 GMT (0305 HKT)
photo: A bound icon manuscript from the Dionysiou monastery (XIII-XIVth century)
The Bodleian and Vatican libraries are digitizing rare and ancient texts in a joint project
The texts will be freely available online for anyone who wants to look at them
They include Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and early printed books
(CNN) — Some of the world’s oldest and rarest Bibles and biblical texts were placed online Tuesday in newly digitized form by two of the world’s most venerable libraries.
The project, which aims to make 1.5 million pages of ancient texts freely available in virtual form over the next three years, is a joint effort by the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University and the Vatican Library.
The project is focused on three main areas: ancient Greek manuscripts, Hebrew manuscripts and 15th-century printed books, known as incunabula. They will include secular and religious texts.
For its online launch, however, the organizers have highlighted a smaller group of Bibles and biblical commentaries, each of which has been chosen for its particular historical importance.
They include a copy of a Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed with moveable metal type in the Western world, and the beautiful woodcuts of a Bible printed in 1478-1479 in Cologne, known as Stamp. Ross. 283.
The four-year project, which began in 2012, is funded by a 2 million pound (nearly $3.3 million) award from the Polonsky Foundation, a charity that supports higher education and research.
Dr. Leonard Polonsky, in a video clip posted on the project’s website, said that it would ensure that fragile texts that “should be part of the inheritance of mankind” were safeguarded for future generations.
“It’s too dangerous to have unique exemplars of anything in one place,” he said. “Digitizing enables us to secure all of this material and of course make it broadly available. It’s an opportunity you can’t resist.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said, “Where you can see these actual texts there is just a lifting of the spirit, something that inspires worship.”
The project is of “huge international significance,” he said, because a far wider range of scholars than before will now be able to see the texts.
Conservation staff at the Bodleian and Vatican libraries have worked together to ensure the ancient documents are not exposed to any harm in the digitization process, a news release from the Bodleian Libraries said.
Scholars will be able to zoom in on texts and images to study them more closely.
“I envision how useful it will be to scholars and many other interested people,” Monsignor Cesare Pasini, the prefect of the Vatican Library, is quoted as saying.
“Moreover, I see the common fruit of our labor as a very positive sign of collaboration and sharing that is a trademark of the world of culture.”
Is Pope Francis Leaving Vatican At Night To Minister To Homeless? A recent interview with Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the “Almoner of His Holiness,” raised speculation that the Pope joins him on his nightly trips into Rome to give alms to the poor, and it turns out that the rumors are probably true.
A knowledgable source in Rome told The Huffington Post that “Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”
Krajewski earlier said, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me,” and he merely smiled and ducked the question when reporters asked him point-blank whether the Pope accompanied him into the city.
He’s not the only Pope known for nocturnal wanderings. There are stories of Pope John XIII sneaking out to enjoy the beauty of Rome in the evenings, and reports tell of Pope Pius XII dressing as a Franciscan during WWII to help smuggle Rome’s Jewish population to safety. More recently, Pope Benedict XVI popped out unannounced to visit an art exhibit.
When Pope Francis was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, he was known to sneak out at night to break bread with the homeless, sitting with them on the street and eating with them to show that they were loved. And we love him for doing it now.
Dec 02, 2013