•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment




Politeama Square, Palermo
Sunday, 3 October 2010


Dear Young People and Families of Sicily,

I greet you with great affection and great joy! Thank you for your joy and for your faith! This encounter with you is the last meeting of my Visit to Palermo today but in a certain sense it is the central one. In fact, it is this occasion that prompted you to invite me: your Regional Meeting of Young People and Families. So today I must begin here, with this event; and I do so first of all by thanking Bishop Mario Russotto of Caltanissetta, who is the Delegate for the pastoral care of youth and the family at the regional level, and then, also, the two young people, Giorgia and David. Dear friends, yours was more than a greeting, it was a sharing of faith and hope. I warmly thank you. The Bishop of Rome goes everywhere to strengthen Christians in the faith, but he then goes home strengthened by your faith, by your joy and by your hope!

Therefore, young people and families, we must take seriously this gathering, this get-together, which cannot be solely an occasional or functional event. It has a meaning, a human, Christian and ecclesial value. And I do not want to start with a discussion but with a testimonial, a true and very timely life story. I believe you know that last Saturday, 25 September, a young Italian girl, called Chiara, Chiara Badano, was declared Blessed in Rome. I invite you to become acquainted with her. Her life was a short one but it is a wonderful message. Chiara was born in 1971 and died in 1990 from an incurable disease. Nineteen years full of life, love and faith. Her last two years were also full of pain, yet always of love and light, a light that shone around her, that came from within: from her heart filled with God! How was this possible? How could a 17 or 18-year-old girl live her suffering in this way, humanly without hope, spreading love, serenity, peace and faith? This was obviously a grace of God, but this grace was prepared and accompanied by human collaboration as well: the collaboration of Chiara herself, of course, but also of her parents and friends.

In the first place her parents, her family. Today I want to emphasize this in a special way. Bl. Chiara Badano’s parents are alive, they were in Rome for the Beatification I myself met them and they are witnesses of the fundamental fact that explains everything: their daughter was overflowing with God’s light! And this light, which comes from faith and love, was first lit by them: father and mother kindled that little flame of faith in their daughter’s soul and helped Chiara to keep it constantly alight, even in the difficult times of growing up and above all during her great and long trial of suffering, as was the case for Venerable Maria Carmelina Leone, who died at the age of 17. This, dear friends, is the first message that I would like to leave you: the relationship between parents and children as you know is fundamental; but not only due to a just tradition I know that this is keenly felt by Sicilians. It is something more, which Jesus himself taught us: it is the torch of faith that is passed on from one generation to the next; that flame which is also present in the rite of Baptism, when the priest says: “Receive the light of Christ… [a sign of Easter]… this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly”.

The family is fundamental because that is where the first awareness of the meaning of life germinates in the human soul. It germinates in the relationship with the mother and with the father, who are not the masters of their children’s lives but are God’s primary collaborators in the transmission of life and faith. This happened in an exemplary and extraordinary way in Bl. Chiara Badano’s family; but it also happens in many families. In Sicily too there are splendid examples of young people who have grown up like beautiful, vigorous plants, after germinating in the family with the Lord’s grace and human collaboration. I am referring to Bl. Pina Suriano, Venerable Maria Carmelina Leone and Maria Magno Magro, a great teacher; to the Servants of God Rosario Livatino, Mario Giuseppe Restivo and to many young people whom you know! Often their activities do not make the headlines because evil is more newsworthy, but they are the strength and future of Sicily! The image of a tree is very significant for representing the human person. The Bible uses it, for example, in the Psalms. Psalm 1 says blessed is the man who meditates on the law of the Lord: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, / that yields its fruit in its season” (v. 3). These “streams of water” could be the “river” of tradition, the “river” of the faith from which to draw the vital sap. Dear young people of Sicily, be trees that sink their roots in the “river” of good! Do not be afraid of opposing evil! Together you will be like a forest that grows, silent perhaps, but capable of yielding fruit, of bringing life and of deeply renewing your land! Do not give in to the suggestions of the Mafia, which is a path to death incompatible with the Gospel, as our Bishops have so often said and say!

The Apostle Paul takes up this image in his Letter to the Colossians, where he urges Christians to be “rooted and built up in him [Christ] and established in the faith” (cf. Col 2: 7). You young people know that these words are the theme of my Message for next year’s World Youth Day in Madrid. The image of the tree tells us that each one of us needs fertile ground in which to sink our own roots, a ground rich with nutritious substances that make a person grow: these are values, but above all they are love and faith, the knowledge of God’s true face, the awareness that he loves us infinitely, faithfully, patiently, to the point of giving his life for us. In this sense the family is a “Church in miniature” because it transmits God, it transmits Christ’s love, by virtue of the sacrament of Matrimony. Divine love, which unites a man and a woman and makes them become parents, is capable of generating in the hearts of their children the seed of faith, that is, the light of the deep meaning of life.

And here we come to the next important passage, which I can only outline: the family, to be this “Church in miniature”, must be properly inserted in the “great Church”, that is, in the family of God that Christ came to form. Bl. Chiara Badano also witnessed to this, as did all the other young Saints and Blesseds; that together with the family they were born into, the great family of the Church is fundamental, encountered and experienced in the parish community and in the diocese. For Bl. Pina Suriano it was Catholic Action widespread in this region for Bl. Chiara Badano, the Focolare Movement. In fact, ecclesial movements and associations do not serve themselves but Christ and the Church.

Dear Friends, I know your difficulties in today’s social context. They are the difficulties of the young people and families of today, particularly in the south of Italy. And I also know the commitment with which you seek to react to and face these problems, supported by your priests who are authentic fathers and brothers in the faith to you, as was Fr Pino Puglisi. I thank God for having met you, because wherever there are young people and families who choose the path of the Gospel there is hope. And you are a sign of hope, not only for Sicily but also for all Italy. I have brought you a testimony of holiness and you offer me your own: the faces of the many young people of this land who have loved Christ with Gospel radicalism; your own faces resemble a mosaic! This is the greatest gift we have received: to be Church, to be in Christ a sign and instrument of unity, of peace, of true freedom. No one can take this joy from us! No one can take this power from us! Courage, dear young people and families of Sicily! Be holy! At the school of Mary, our Mother, make yourselves fully available to God. Let yourselves be moulded by his Word and his Spirit and you will be even more, and increasingly, the salt and light of this beloved land of yours. Thank you!

Meeting with Bishops, Priests, Men and Women Religious and Seminarians

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment




Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Palermo
Sunday, 3 October 2010


Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On my Pastoral Visit to your region a Meeting with you could not be omitted. Thank you for your welcome! I liked the parallel the Archbishop drew between the beauty of the Cathedral and that of the building of “living stones”, which you are. Yes, in this brief but intense moment with you I can admire the face of the Church in the variety of her gifts; and, as Successor of Peter, I have the joy of strengthening you in the one faith and in the profound communion that the Lord Jesus Christ bought for us. I express my gratitude to Archbishop Paolo Romeo and I extend it to the Auxiliary Bishop. I address my most cordial greeting to you, dear priests of this Archdiocese and of all the Dioceses in Sicily, to you, dear deacons and seminarians, and to you, men and women religious and consecrated lay people, and with it I would like to reach out to all the confreres and sisters of Sicily, and in a special way to those who are sick or very elderly.

Eucharistic adoration, which we have had the grace and joy to share, has revealed to us and permitted us to feel the profound meaning of what we are: a member of the body of Christ which is the Church. Prostrate before Jesus, here with you, I asked him to inflame your hearts with his love, so that you may be conformed to him and imitate him in the most complete and generous gift of yourselves to the Church and to your brethren.

Dear priests, I would like to address you first of all. I know that you work with zeal and intelligence, sparing no effort. The Lord Jesus, to whom you have consecrated your life, is with you! May you always be men of prayer, so as also to be teachers of prayer. May your days be marked by times of prayer during which, modelling yourselves on Jesus, you enter into a regenerating conversation with the Father. It is not easy to stay faithful to these daily appointments with the Lord, especially today when the pace of life has become frenetic and work is ever more absorbing. Yet we must convince ourselves: time for prayer is fundamental: in prayer, divine grace acts more effectively, making the ministry fruitful. We are pressed by so many things, but if we are not inwardly in communion with God we cannot give anything to others either. We must always set aside the necessary time “to be with him” (cf. Mk 3: 14).

Concerning priests, the Second Vatican Council says “However, it is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful (synaxis) that they exercise in a supreme degree their sacred functions” (Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 28). The Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life. Dear brother priests, can we say that it is so for us, for our priestly life? What care do we devote to preparing ourselves for Holy Mass, to celebrating it, to remaining in adoration? Are our churches truly the “house of God”, where his presence attracts people who, unfortunately, today often feel the absence of God?

The priest always finds, and in an unchangeable manner, the source of his own identity in Christ the Priest. He is not in the world to establish our status, according to the needs and concepts of social roles. The priest is marked by the seal of the Priesthood of Christ, to share in his role as the one Mediator and Redeemer. By virtue of this fundamental bond, the immense field of the service to souls, for their salvation in Christ and in the Church, opens to the priest. This service that must be wholly inspired by the love of Christ. God wants all human beings to be saved, he wants no one to be lost. The Holy Curé d’Ars said: “the priest must always be ready to respond to the needs of souls. He does not live for himself, he lives for you”. The priest exists for the faithful: he encourages them and sustains them in the exercise of the common priesthood of the baptized, on their journey of faith, in cultivating hope and in living charity, the love of Christ. Dear priests, may you always give special attention to the world of youth. As Venerable John Paul II said in this land, open wide the doors of your parishes to young people, so that they may open the doors of their hearts to Christ. May they never find them closed!

The Priest cannot be distant from the daily concerns of the People of God; on the contrary he must be very close but as a priest, always with a view to salvation and of the Kingdom of God. He is the witness and steward of a life different from earthly life (cf. Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 3). He is the herald of a strong hope, a “trustworthy hope”, the hope of Christ, by virtue of which we can face the present even though it may often be arduous (cf. Encyclical Spe Salvi, n. 1). It is essential for the Church that the priest’s identity be safeguarded with its “vertical” dimension. The lives and personality of St John Mary Vianney and of all the Saints of your land such as St Hannibal Mary di Francia, Bl. James Cusmano and Bl. Francis Spoto are a particularly enlightening and vigorous demonstration of this.

The Church of Palermo recently commemorated the anniversary of the barbarous assassination of Fr Giuseppe Puglisi, who belonged to this presbyterate, killed by the Mafia. His heart was on fire with authentic pastoral charity; in his zealous ministry he made a lot of room for the education of children and young people and at the same time strove to ensure that every Christian family might live its fundamental vocation as the first teacher of the faith to children. The same people entrusted to his pastoral care were able to quench their thirst with the spiritual riches of this good pastor, the cause of whose Beatification is under way. I urge you to keep alive the memory of his fruitful priestly witness, following his heroic example.

With great affection I also address you, who live consecration to God in Christ and in the Church in various forms and institutes. I reserve a special thought for the cloistered monks and nuns, whose service of prayer is so precious for the Ecclesial Community. Dear brothers and sisters, may you continue to follow Jesus without compromise, as the Gospel proposes, thereby witnessing radically to the beauty of being Christian. It is your particular task to keep alive in the baptized the awareness of the fundamental requirements of the Gospel. In fact, your very presence and your style give the Ecclesial Community a precious incentive to attain the “high standard” of the Christian vocation; indeed, we could say that your existence is as it were a form of preaching, very eloquent even though it is often silent. Yours, dear friends, is an ancient way of life yet ever new, despite the decrease in your number and forces. But have trust: our times are not those of God and of his providence. It is necessary to pray and to grow in personal and community holiness. Then the Lord will provide!

With special affection I greet you, dear seminarians, and I urge you to respond generously to the call of the Lord and the expectations of the People of God, growing in identification with Christ the High Priest, preparing yourselves for the mission with a solid human, spiritual, theological and cultural formation. The Seminary is particularly valuable for your future, because, by a full experience and patient work, it leads you to being pastors of souls and teachers of faith, ministers of the holy mysteries and messengers of Christ’s charity. Live this time of grace with dedication and cherish in your hearts the joy and dynamism of the first moment of the call and of your “yes”, when, responding to Christ’s mysterious voice, you gave a decisive turning point to your lives. Be docile to the orders of your superiors and of those responsible for your growth in Christ, and learn from him love for every child of God and of the Church.

Dear brothers and sisters, as I thank you once again for your affection, I assure you of my remembrance in prayer so that you may continue with a fresh enthusiasm and with strong hope on the journey of faithful adherence to Christ and of generous service to the Church. May the Virgin Mary, our Mother, always help you; may St Rosalia and all the holy Patrons of this region of Sicily protect you; and may the Apostolic Blessing that I warmly impart to you and to your communities accompany you.

Holy Mass Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment




Foro Italico Umberto I, Palermo
Sunday, 3 October 2010


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I rejoice at being able to break with you the bread of the Word of God and of the Eucharist. I greet you all with affection and thank you for your warm welcome! I greet in particular your Pastor, Archbishop Paolo Romeo; I thank him for his words of welcome on behalf of you all and for the meaningful gift he has offered me. I also greet the Archbishops and Bishops present, the priests, the men and women Religious and the Representatives of the Ecclesial Associations and Movements. I address a respectful thought to Hon. Mr Diego Cammarata, the Mayor, grateful for his courteous greeting, to the Representative of the Government and to the Civil and Military Authorities, who have wished to honour our Meeting with their presence. A special “thank you” goes to all who have generously offered their collaboration for the organization and preparation of this day.

Dear friends, my Visit is taking place on the occasion of an important regional ecclesial Meeting of Young People and Families, whom I will meet this afternoon. But I have also come to share with you the joys and hopes, efforts and commitments, ideals and aspirations of this diocesan community. When the ancient Greeks landed in this area, as the Mayor mentioned in his greeting, they called it “Panormo” meaning the place looking out over the whole bay, a name that suggested safety, peace and calm. In coming to see you for the first time, my hope is that this City, drawing inspiration from the most authentic values of its history and tradition, may always know how to make the hopes of serenity and peace, summed up in its name, come true for its inhabitants and for the entire nation.

I know that in Palermo, as in the whole of Sicily, difficulties, problems and worries are not lacking; I am thinking in particular of those who are actually living their lives in precarious conditions, because of unemployment, uncertainty about the future and physical and moral suffering and, as the Archbishop recalled, because of organized crime. Today I am among you to witness to my closeness and my remembrance in prayer. I am here to give you strong encouragement not to be afraid to witness clearly to thehuman and Christian values that are so deeply rooted in the faith and history of this territory and of its people.

Dear brothers and sisters, every liturgical assembly is a place of God’s presence. Gathered together for the Holy Eucharist, disciples of the Lord are immersed in Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, they proclaim that he is Risen, is alive and is the Giver of life, and witness that his Presence is grace, strength and joy. Let us open our hearts to his Word and welcome the gift of his presence! All the texts of this Sunday’s Liturgy speak to us of faith, which is the foundation of the whole of Christian life. Jesus taught his disciples to grow in faith, to believe and to entrust themselves increasingly to him, in order to build their own lives on the rock. For this reason they asked him “increase our faith!” (Lk 17: 5). What they asked the Lord for is beautiful, it is the fundamental request: disciples do not ask for material gifts, they do not ask for privileges but for the grace of faith, which guides and illumines the whole of life; they ask for the grace to recognize God and to be in a close relationship with him, receiving from him all his gifts, even those of courage, love and hope.

Jesus, without directly answering their prayer, has recourse to a paradoxical image to express the incredible vitality of faith. Just as a lever raises something far heavier than its own weight, so faith, even a crumb of faith, can do unthinkable, extraordinary things, such as uproot a great tree and plant it in the sea (ibid.). Faith trusting in Christ, welcoming him, letting him transform us, following him to the very end makes humanly impossible things possible in every situation. The Prophet Habbakuk also bears witness to this in the First Reading. He implores the Lord, starting with a dreadful situation of violence, iniquity and oppression. And even in this difficult, insecure situation, the Prophet introduces a vision that offers an inside view of the plan that God is outlining and bringing to fulfilment in history: “He whose soul is not upright in him shall fail, but the righteous shall live by his faith” (Hab 2: 4). The godless person, the one who does not behave in accordance with God, who trusts in his own power but is relying on a frail and inconsistent reality that will therefore give way, is destined to fall; the righteous person, on the other hand, trusts in a hidden but sound reality, he trusts in God and for this reason will have life.

In past centuries the Church in Palermo was enriched and enlivened by a fervent faith that found its loftiest and most successful expression in the Saints. I am thinking of St Rosalia, whom you venerate and honour and who, from Mount Pellegrino, watches over your City of which she is the Patroness. I am also thinking of two great Saints of Sicily: Agatha and Lucy. Nor should it be forgotten that your religious sense has always inspired and guided family life, fostering values such as the capacity for giving themselves and solidarity to others, especially the suffering, and innate respect for life that constitutes a precious heritage to be jealously guarded and proposed anew especially in our time. Dear friends, preserve this precious treasure of faith of your Church; may Christian values always guide your decisions and your actions!

The second part of today’s Gospel presents another teaching, a teaching of humility that is nevertheless closely linked to faith. Jesus invites us to be humble and suggests the example of a servant who has worked in the fields. When he returns home, the master asks him to go on working. According to the mentality of Jesus’ time the master had every right to do this. The servant owed his master total availability; and the master did not feel under any obligation to him for having carried out the orders he had received. Jesus makes us aware that, before God, we are in a similar situation: we are God’s servants, we are not his creditors but are always indebted to him, because we owe him everything since everything is a gift from him. Accepting and doing his will is the approach to have every day, at every moment of our life. Before God we must never present ourselves as if we believe we have done a service and deserve a great reward. This is an illusion that can be born in everyone, even in people who work very hard in the Lord’s service, in the Church. Rather, we must be aware that in reality we never do enough for God. We must say, as Jesus’ suggests: “we are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty” (Lk 17: 10). This is an attitude of humility that really puts us in our place and permits the Lord to be very generous to us. In fact, in another Gospel passage, he promises people that “he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them” (cf. Lk 12: 37). Dear friends, if we do God’s will today with humility, without claiming anything from him, it will be Jesus himself who serves us, who helps us, who encourages us, who gives us strength and serenity.

In today’s Second Reading the Apostle Paul too speaks of faith. Timothy is asked to have faith and, through it, to exercise charity. The disciple is also urged to rekindle in faith the gift of God that is in him through the laying on of Paul’s hands, in other words the gift of Ordination, received so that he might carry out the apostolic ministry as a collaborator of Paul (cf. 2 Tm 1: 6). He must not let this gift be extinguished but must make it ever more alive through faith. And the Apostle adds: “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control” (v. 7).

Dear people of Palermo and dear Sicilians, your beautiful Island was one of the first regions of Italy to receive the faith of the Apostles, to receive the proclamation of the Word of God, to adhere to the faith in such a generous way that, even amidst difficulties and persecutions, the flower of holiness always sprang from it. Sicily was and is a land of Saints, belonging to every walk of life, who have lived the Gospel with simplicity and wholeness. To you lay faithful, I repeat: do not fear to live and to witness to the faith in the various contexts of society, in the many situations of human existence, especially in those that are difficult! May faith give you the power of God in order to be ever confident and courageous, to go ahead with new determination, to take the necessary initiatives to give an ever more beautiful face to your land. And when you come up against the opposition of the world, may you hear the Apostle’s words: “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord” (v. 8). One should be ashamed of evil, of what offends God, of what offends man; one should be ashamed of the evil done to the Civil and Religious Community by actions that would prefer to remain in the shade! The temptation of discouragement and resignation comes to those who are weak in faith and those who confuse evil with good and to those who think that in the face of evil that is often profound there is nothing that can be done. On the contrary, those who are firmly founded on faith, who trust totally in God and who live in the Church are capable of conveying the devastating power of the Gospel. This was how the Saints who flourished in Palermo and throughout Sicily down the centuries behaved, as likewise the lay people and priests of today who are well known to you, such as, for example, Fr Pino Puglisi. May they always keep you united and nourish in each one the desire to proclaim, with word and deed, the presence and love of Christ. People of Sicily, look at your future with hope! Bring out the full radiance of the good that you desire, that you seek and that you possess! Live courageously the values of the Gospel to make the light of goodness shine out! With God’s power everything is possible! May the Mother of Christ, Our Lady Hodegetria whom you so deeply venerate, help you and lead you to deep knowledge of her Son. Amen!

Benedict XVI Angelus

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment



Foro Italico, Palermo
Sunday, 3 October 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At this moment of profound communion with Christ, present and alive in our midst and within us, as an ecclesial family it is beautiful to turn in prayer to Mary Most Holy Immaculate, his Mother and ours. Sicily is spangled with Marian Shrines and in this place I feel spiritually at the centre of this “network” of devotion that reaches all the cities and all the villages of the Island.

I want to entrust the whole People of God that lives in this beloved region to the Virgin Mary. May she support families, in their love and in their commitment to education; may she make fruitful the seeds of vocation that God sows lavishly among the young; may she instil courage in trials, hope in difficulty, and renewed enthusiasm in doing good. May Our Lady comfort the sick and all the suffering, and help Christian communities so that no one in them is marginalized or needy but each one, especially the little and the weak, feels welcomed and treasured.

Mary is the model of Christian life. I ask her above all to enable you to walk swiftly and joyfully on the path of holiness, in the footsteps of so many luminous witnesses of Christ, children of Sicily. In this context I would like to recall that this morning, in Parma, Blessed Anna Maria Adorni was beatified. In the 19th century she was an exemplary wife and mother and then, widowed, she devoted herself to charity to women in prison and in difficulty, for whose service she founded two religious Institutes. Because of her ceaseless prayer, Mother Adorni was known as the “Living Rosary”. I am glad to place her at the beginning of the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary. May the daily meditation on the mysteries of Christ in union with Mary, the prayerful Virgin, strengthen all of us in faith, in hope and in charity.

History of the Vatican Museums

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment
History of the Vatican Museums Vatican Museums originated as a group of sculptures collected by Pope Julius II (1503-1513) and placed in what today is the “Cortile Ottagono” within the museum complex. The popes were among the first sovereigns who opened the art collections of their palaces to the public thus promoting knowledge of art history and culture. As seen today, the Vatican Museums are a complex of different pontifical museums and galleries that began under the patronage of the popes Clement XIV (1769-1774) and Pius VI (1775-1799). In fact, the Pio-Clementine Museum was named after these two popes, who set up this first major curatorial section. Later, Pius VII (1800-1823) considerably expanded the collections of Classical Antiquities, to which he added the Chiaromonti Museum and the “Braccio Nuovo” gallery. He also enriched the Epigraphic Collection, which was conserved in the Lapidary Gallery. XVI (1831-1846) founded the Etruscan Museum (1837) with archaeological finds discovered during excavations carried out from 1828 onwards in southern Etruria. Later, he established the Egyptian Museum (1839), which houses ancient artifacts from explorations in Egypt, together with other pieces already conserved in the Vatican and in the Museo Capitolino, and the Lateran Profane Museum (1844), with statues, bas-relief sculptures and mosaics of the Roman era, which could not be adequately placed in the Vatican Palace. The Lateran Profane Museum was expanded in 1854 under Pius IX (1846-1878) with the addition of the Pio Christian Museum. This museum is comprised of ancient sculptures (especially sarcophagi) and inscriptions with ancient Christian content. In 1910, under the pontificate of Saint Pius X (1903-1914), the Hebrew Lapidary was established. This section of the museum contains 137 inscriptions from ancient Hebrew cemeteries in Rome mostly from via Portuense and donated by the Marquisate Pellegrini-Quarantotti. These last collections (Gregorian Profane Museum, Pio Christian Museum and the Hebrew Lapidary) were transferred, under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963), from the Lateran Palace to their present building within the Vatican and inaugurated in 1970. Museums also include the Gallery of Tapestries, a collection of various 15th and 17th century tapestries; the Gallery of Maps, decorated under the pontificate of Gregory XIII (1572-1585) and restored by Urban VIII (1623-1644); the Sobieski Room and the Room of the Immaculate Conception; the Raphael Stanze and the Loggia, which were decorated by order of Julius II and Leo X (1513-1521); the Chapel of Nicholas V (1447-1455), painted by Fra Angelico; the Sistine Chapel, which takes the name of its founder, Pope Sixtus IV; the Borgia Apartment, where Pope Alexander VI lived until his death (1492-1503); the Vatican Pinacoteca, created under Pius XI (1922-1932) in a special building near the new entrance to the Museums; the Missionary-Ethnological Museum which was founded by Pius XI in 1926, arranged on the upper floors of the Lateran Palace and later transferred, under Pope John XXIII, to the Vatican where it has been opened again to the public in the same building which housed the former Lateran collections. In 1973 the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Religious Art was added and inaugurated by Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) in the Borgia Apartment. The Vatican Historical Museum, founded in 1973 and transferred in 1987 to the Papal Apartment in the Lateran Palace, houses a series of papal portraits along with objects of the past Pontifical Military Corps and of the Pontifical Chapel and Family and historic ceremonial objects no longer in use. The Carriage and Automobile Museum is a section of the Vatican Historical Museum. In the year 2000, the Vatican Museums opened a new large entrance that provides visitor information and other services; on display are many new artworks, two of which were specially created for this grand entrance hall.

The New Entrance for the Jubilee of 2000


•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment


The Vatican Television Center (CTV) was created in 1983. In November 1996 it was officially recognized as an organization fully associated with the Holy See. 

The principal aim of CTV is to contribute to spreading the universal message of the Gospel by using television to document the Pope’s pastoral ministry and the activities of the Apostolic See. (From the Statute of June 1st 1998)

The main services offered by CTV are the following: live broadcasts, production, archiving, and daily assistance to other broadcasters.


Every year CTV conducts around 130 live broadcasts of events inside the Vatican (the Angelus, the Pope’s General Audience and other events or celebrations). In addition there are the live broadcasts associated with the Holy Father’s trips in Italy and abroad. Live broadcasts are trasmitted by other Catholic television networks. On request by international TV networks CTV can coordinate satellite link-ups in order to relay the signal anywhere in the world. On an experimental basis, the Angelus is currently trasmitted directly from the Vatican via Intelsat towards America every Sunday. CTV is also promoting a project which includes the interactive and multimedial diffusion of certain major events marking the start of the Third Millennium.


CTV covers the daily public activities of the Holy Father and the main events that take place within the Apostolic See.

It distributes this footage to the press agencies and television stations that request it. CTV also distributes footage shot as part of the papal entourage during the Pope’s trips abroad and coordinates special duplications centers within the press centers on these trips. Inside the Vatican, CTV offers assistance and facilities to foreign correspondents (TV crews, video and audio assistance, satellite broadcasts, editing facilities, etc.).


CTV has produced numerous documentaries over the past ten years of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate, on the Vatican and the Basilicas of Rome. These have been broadcast on television and distributed on home video, often in other language editions including English and Spanish.Since Easter 1998 a weekly (25-minute) magazine program entitled “Octava Dies” is rebroadcast nationally by Italian Catholic networks and globally in “natural sound” by APTN. The Italian and English-language versions can be heard on this Internet site.


CTV manages a temperature and humidity controlled area housing a video archive with over 10,000 cassettes and approximately 4,000 hours of video recordings of Pope John Paul II documenting his pontificate since 1984. Television networks and documentary producers from all over the world constantly request access to this archive. A computerized filing system means the footage can be easily consulted according to subject matter, date etc.

Private individuals can request copies of CTV video recordings and productions on VHS by contacting the Vatican Television Center office which is open from 9 to 13, Rome time, Monday to Saturday.

Via del Pellegrino – 00120 Vatican City

Director General: Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.I.
Tel. +39 06 698 85467/85233 – Fax +39 06 698 85192

E-mail: (Office) (Video-Archive)

Programmes: OCTOBER 2010

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Programmes: OCTOBER 2010

N.B. The Time and Place of General Audiences in October are subject to change.

1 18:00- 19:30 c. CONCERT IN HONOUR
Orchestra and Choir of the National
Academy of Saint Cecilia
Paul VI Audience Hall
3 Pastoral Visit to Palermo
10:00 –
12:30 c.
Holy Mass and Angelus RAI Production
 17:00 – 17:45 c. Meeting with Priests and
Religious People in the Cathedral
18:00 – 18:30 c. Meeting with the young people RAI Production
6 10:30 – 11:30 c. General Audience Paul VI Audience Hall
9 16:00 –
18:00 c.
Holy Mass with Episcopal Ordinations presided over by the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
The Bishops who will be consecrated:
– Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula
– Msgr. Enrico dal Covolo
– Msgr. Giorgio Lingua
– Msgr. Joseph Tobin
Vatican Basilica
10 9:30 –
11:30 c.
Holy Mass: Opening of the Synod
of Bishops for the Middle East
Vatican Basilica
12:00 – 12:20 c. Angelus Saint Peter’s Square
13 10:30 – 11:30 c. General Audience Paul VI Audience Hall
16 18:00 – 19:30 c. Concert in honour
 of His Holiness Benedict XVI
offered by Enoch zu Guttenberg Neubeuern – Bavaria

Requiem Mass by Giuseppe Verdi

Paul VI Audience Hall
17 10:00 – 12:20 c. Canonizations and Angelus Saint Peter’s Square
20 10:30 – 11:30 c. General Audience Paul VI Audience Hall
24 9:30 –
11:30 c.
Holy Mass: Conclusion of the Synod
of Bishops for the Middle East
Vatican Basilica
12:00 – 12:20 c. Angelus Saint Peter’s Square
27 10:30 – 11:30 c. General Audience Paul VI Audience Hall
31 12:00 – 12:20 c. Angelus Piazza San Pietro
Satellite transmits at: EUTELSAT HOT BIRD II- 13° East – DIGITAL DVB/Frequency 12.380 MHz –  Vertical Position – FEC 3/4 – Symbol rate 27.500 MSYMBOL
Broadcasting starts 5 – 10 minutes before event