The Sistine Chapel: A Liturgical Classroom for the Ages

Sistine Chapel - Hands of God and Adam

On October 31, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI observed the 500th anniversary of the Sistine Chapel by offering a prayer—celebrating Vespers beneath Michelangelo’s famed frescoes of biblical stories including, most famously, the Creation of Adam.The Holy Father called the chapel a “liturgical classroom,” explaining that “It is as if during the liturgical action, the entire symphony of figures comes alive, certainly in the spiritual sense, but also…in the aesthetic sense. The Sistine Chapel, encompass … [Read more...]

Happy 100th Birthday to the Smiling Pope!

Pope John Paul I

Pope John Paul I, had he lived, would have been 100 years old on October 30, 2012.Bishop Albino Luciani had been Patriarch of Venice for nine years when he was elected to the papacy in 1978, succeeding the deceased Pope Paul VI.  He was quickly dubbed “The Smiling Pope,” popular with the public for his gentle disposition and winsome smile.  He took the name of Pope John Paul.But the new Pontiff served only 33 days in the papacy before his unexpected death on September 28, 1978.  In that b … [Read more...]

What Gift Can You Offer a Pope? HOW ABOUT A WIDGET?!

Popes widget

It doesn’t seem like seven years—but that’s how long Pope Benedict XVI has led the Church:  teaching us, praying for us, showing us by example how to live as committed followers of Christ. The Vatican celebrated the seventh anniversary of his election on April 19.   But what kind of gift can you give to a pontiff?  I mean, someone who has received the gift of God’s grace in abundance, someone who speaks with an authority vested in him by Christ?  Somehow, a pair of socks seems too shabby an o … [Read more...]