Saturday, March 9, 2013

Conclave, Vatican Treasures, Sistine Chapel

This week marks another milestone in the Catholic Church.  We are electing a new Pope! 

All eyes are turned again to the Vatican City, as the cardinals, all 177 of them, gathers into a conclave.  Conclave is the private meeting when Cardinals elect a new pope.  I think it is very exciting. If you’re a fan of Dan Brown, whose specialty is  conspiracy theories in the Catholic Church; then you must be glued to the news now.  These news reports also  make me reminiscence of my visit to the Vatican, especially to the famed Sistene Chapel, where this mysterious conclave happens.

On one hand, I’m sure you’ve heard of  the Vatican Treasures.  When I was young, I used to conjure glittering jewels, crowns, golden goblets, crucifixes accumulated by the church from crusades, and offerings from kings.

But when I visited the Vatican Museum, where these “Vatican Treasures” are housed… Hmm… I totally  got a change of perspective.

Entry to the Musee Vaticani

Vatican Museum, is a must-visit in the Vatican City.  It’s just behind St. Peter’s Basilica.   It is one of the greatest museums in the world.   Four Million people visit it annually.  Last year August 2012, we were one of those statistics.

One of the most arresting exercise to this visit, going up the magnificent spiral ramp, a double helix designed by Guisseppe Momo in 1932.  This is a recent addition. The Vatican museum traces it’s history for more than 500 years!

So, what and where exactly are the treasures of the Vatican?
They are not gleaming jewels, crowns and goblets.  

Vatican Treasures refers to the Finest and Masterpieces of paintings, sculptures,  maps, tapestries and archeological objects collected by the Popes throughout the centuries.

It took them centuries to accumulate, so there’s no way, we can appreciate them half-day!

Gorgeous ceilings.... so many of these!

As usual,  we just breeze through some but gawked at those most familiar ones

Hmm.. haven’t I seen before, in Catholic Digest?  Picture!

Sarcophagus of St. Helens

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Like The Louvre in Paris, I've never been into a place that contains so much antiquity and history.  It's literally overwhelming.  Let me just share to you, the most familiar ones ....

The Bust Room (literally, thousands of busts) :)

I wouldn't mind having this in my prayer room

 Entombment by Caravaggio

Adam and Eve in Earthy Paradise by Peter Wenzel

I forgot the name .. but this is humongous!!

There's just so many,  I got tired which ones to take photos or just remember from memory.

Finally, we reached the piece the resistance --   the Sistine Chapel by Michaelangelo.
Unfortunately, they don't allow photos inside. :(  But of course, Pinoys are always so enterprising that we managed a few, with the strict guards constantly making Shhhhh... shhh!!
It is after, a Holy ground!

on the way to Sistine Chapel

The Conclave, or choosing of the new pope is held on this hallowed 1,100 square meters room.   It will be closed to the public and the 177 cardinals will be secured and totally isolated from the outside world. 

This has been happening for more than 500 years on this chapel and I believe there can be better place on earth to do that than here.    It's a beautiful, serene and the images certainly invokes one's belief of a being Higher than us.

The side panels are actually done by 3 artists, Petro Perugino, Sandro Boticelli, Domenico Ghirladiao but the ceilings are done by the great Michaelangelo.  There are sooooooooo many images, I don't know where to feast my eyes on.

Of course, we tried to find the images that are most familiar to us.  It's touching to see them in real authentic beauty!! 

Gosh, all these Holiness is making me feel I have a halo on my head !! :))  

I don't think we were able to see everything! Such a huge collection! We are rushing to get to St.  Peter's Basilica.

My last agenda was to buy rosaries.  The Holy Rosary from the Vatican is made from real rose petals and smells so sweet.  (NOTE:  Do not buy them outside from the sidewalk vendors.  Most of the times, those are cheaper, but not made from real roses but just scented!) Ted bought home some Holy Water in lovely glass bottles.  Probably to sprinkle on me, when I get bitchy.  :P

'till next adventure!



1 comment:

butterfly said...

i can feel that "halo" on our heads during our tour. medyo pasaway lang tayo stealing some fotos inside the sistine chapel. biglang nawala yung halo siguro hahaha. anyway, it's my first time too there, so laging G word (grandiose) ang pwede kong sabihin. so many collections and different museums, kulang ang 2 days to really be keen and absorb all the details. daanin na lang sa pose.
pleasure to be with you and Ted, without kids, mas nakaka emote sa pix without toddlers running around.