Archive for the ‘Vatican’ Category

Vatican City

Posted: January 20, 2014 in Italy, Vatican
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Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.” ― Pope John Paul II

I was excited going to our next destination. I was so looking forward to see this city after hearing a lot about it from my childhood up to early adulthood. This is the final destinations of the nuns from my high school and I felt I was sharing their aspirations from long time back being in Vatican and being in smallest possible circumference with the Pope.

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, an independent city-state that shelters over 100 acres, making it one-eighth the size of New York’s Central Park. The government was an absolute monarchy with the Pope at its head and Latin was used extensively as a language. They have their own mail system, passport system, license plates, and media outlets and have its own flag and anthem.

To keep up with technology today Vatican has a very active presence on the social media circuit with its own website, YouTube channel as well as the Pope’s own Twitter account.

Vatican citizenship comes only with appointment and majority of Vatican City’s 600 citizens live abroad. As of 2011, the number of people with Vatican citizenship totalled 594. That number included 71 cardinals, 109 members of the Swiss Guard, 51 members of the clergy and one nun inside the Vatican walls.

We entered the Vatican gates a day early for Wednesday morning where the Pope holds a Papal Audience, during which he addresses the public in multiple languages and concludes with a final blessing of people and objects held up by members of the crowd. Lots of empty chairs can be seen outside the Pope’s balcony or in front of St Peter’s Basilica for this preparation.

Finally, from all the churches we visited in the whole of Italy we are now given time to enter this late Renaissance church located within Vatican City – St. Peter’s Basilica, The most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world and has been described as the greatest of all churches of Christendom because of historical evidence hold that Saint Peter’s tomb is directly below the altar of this basilica.

The basilica was titanic that I bet it can hold inside hundreds of churches. The interior appears to be elaborately decorated with paintings but our guide said it’s not as every single one of those “paintings” is actually a mosaic, done with so much detail that they appear to be paintings. Inside I saw, Michelangelo’s Pietà is shielded by bullet-proof glass because in 1972, a mentally-disturbed man named Laszlo Toth attacked the sculpture with a hammer; he cracked off Mary’s nose and broke off her arm at the elbow. In the centre of the altar is the baldacchino where St. Peter’s lies directly. It is 96 feet high, made from bronze mostly stripped from ancient Roman monuments such as the Pantheon, and the only person who is permitted to say mass at this altar is the pope.