Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reminder: Rare Vatican Treasures in Cleveland

IMAGE OF CHRIST "The Mandylion of Edessa,"
one of the earliest known icons of Jesus, will be on display
at the Western Reserve Historical Society as part of "Vatican Splendors,"
an exhibit featuring 200 priceless and rare items from the Vatican.

A collection of rare Vatican treasures will be coming to Cleveland later this month:
CLEVELAND The Western Reserve Historical Society's upcoming exhibit, "Vatican Splendors from St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Swiss Guard," may be the closest many people will come to the Vatican's priceless collection of treasures.

The exhibit will run from May 31 to Sept. 7 and will showcase more than 200 artistic and historical objects.

It commemorates the 500th anniversary of St. Peter's Basilica, the founding of the Swiss Guard, the Vatican Museums and the painting of the Sistine Chapel.

Museum president Gainor Davis said the historical society was one of three U.S. venues chosen in part because of its success with a previous exhibit: A collection of gowns worn by the late Princes Diana. It drew 85,000 visitors.


"It came to us because of the Diana show," she explained. "Somebody who has worked with us on Diana was approached, and they said to consider the historical society (as) a venue. We were approached about it, and we did do some thinking as to whether this was an appropriate thing for us to do.

"Our mission is focused on regional history, so there was some discussion about, 'Is this outside of the mission?' But we felt after some discussion, it focused on the roots of Catholicism.

"In Northeast Ohio, it's the tradition of a large group of people who live within our boundaries. We are a public history and community-oriented organization, and we decided this was something people in Northeast Ohio should have the opportunity to see."

Davis noted that 40 percent of Northeast Ohioans have some tie to Catholicism and estimates that 140,000 people will visit the Vatican exhibit.

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
I find it interesting how a museum devoted to the regional history of this part of Ohio decided that an exhibit of Vatican treasures meets its mission. And, by the way, I am in complete agreement with the museum's thinking in that regard, especially since it means I'll be able to go see these items from the Church's history.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Cleveland to Host Vatican Art Treasures

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At 1/02/2009 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I too, am a convert to the Catholic Church (via a Lutheran background). The reason for the conversion was simple: God (through Christ) is present in the Sacraments of the Church. To overlook the Seven Fundamentals or pick out one or two as "most important" is cause for a person (or church) to keep searching in the Wilderness.

I was lost, called out and the Shepard came for me. Nothing fancy or complicated, just pure love and grace.

The beauty of the Vatican Treasures is that these are man-made (crafted) works from Heavenly design. No human awoke one morning and knew what the Cistine ceiling would look like in a few months. Visions and gentle whispered directions lead the way.

The Treasures IS art. Art is not open to be interpreted: it hits the mark every time. Any person who finds the Treasures "too Catholic" or "uncomfortable" might wish to recite this secular reality check taught to me: "There is a God...and I aint' It."

Bless you for your fearless faith.

KN in MN.


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