Written by Sherry
Monday, 21 September 2009 10:14
The Vatican Museums are going through a glorious change according to Zenit. (And I might add, their revised website is visually beautiful and full of virtual tours.
The Sistine Chapel has been restored, a new entrance has been built, the Raphael rooms in the apartments of Juilus II have been restored, and new works are being displayed regularly and new rooms are being opened.
"And a new initiative, opening the museums after hours to the general public on Fridays nights, signals the Vatican Museums desire to become part of the cultural life of the Romans, instead of just a stomping ground for tourists and pilgrims. What better Friday night date than exploring the history of the Eternal City through its greatest artistic treasures?"
And what an evangelizing opportunity as well. The ultimate art walk. Hey - anybody up for a long weekend in Rome? I'm signing up for that Vatican Garden as well.
Some Roman sisters have seized this opportunity to mix evangelization and art appreciation:
"Among these new guides are a small group of religious sisters, the Missionaries of the Divine Revelation, founded by Mother Prisca Mormina with the apostolate of catechesis. Wearing distinctive green habits, they have become a common sight in the Vatican Museums.
Several of these sisters took up the call to catechize with art, offering tours of St. Peter's Basilica and St. John Lateran. In 2008, they were invited to the Vatican Museums to develop museum itineraries reflecting art and faith. These tours, led by the sisters and their staff, look at the collections through the eyes of the faith the works express and the Christian beliefs that inspired the artists who made them.
Mother Rebecca Nazzaro, the superior of this little group, described their choice of a mission to the museums: "The Church needs art because through art man can leave his 'finite' self to enter into the infinite of God. The Church believes that the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the intimate and invisible life of God became visible to man, and the language of art therefore becomes a bridge between heaven and earth and visible and invisible."
These itineraries, available through the Vatican Web site, are offered in English and Italian. Through them, Mother Rebecca hopes to "offer pilgrims who are 'lost' amid the vast collection or visitors who find themselves distracted by the myriad of works, a journey through the history of man through the language of art." She considers art "a privileged instrument of evangelization for its comprehensible idiom and capacity to open dialogue between people of diverse social or religious extraction."