A rare glimpse of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s objects, photographs, and memories are now available to observe in person or online to mark 70 years since the pontiff’s priestly ordination.
Organised by Progetto Arte Poli – in collaboration with the Museum of Popes, with the patronage of Vatican Foundation Joseph Ratzinger and the Pontifical Committee for the Historical Sciences – the free exhibition will be held until 22 December 2021 at Gallery Arte Poli in Borgo Vittorio 88.
Monsignor Georg Ganswein, Prefect of the Papal Household and personal secretary of Benedict XVI, inaugurated the gallery on 25 June.
The extraordinary objects on display in Galleria Arte Poli include:
- the photo of the First Holy Communion of Pope Benedict XVI;
- the memory of his priestly ordination and his first Mass in 1951;
- the mitre used by the Pope Emeritus during several occasions, such as the Ash Wednesday (March 2006 and February 2007), the penitential celebration for the young people of the Diocese of Rome (March 2007), the Mass for the 2nd anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II (April 2007);
- the last cassock worn by Joseph Ratzinger until his resignation of the pontificate (2013); and,
- the silk chasuble with the papal coat worn by Benedict XVI in the chapel of the flat in the Apostolic Palace and now worn to celebrate the holy Mass in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
Speaking on the launch of Benedict XVI’s exhibit, Poli Art Gallery and Popes Museum Director Ivan Marsura said it was an honour to showcase some personal items of the Holy Father for the first time to be admired by all.
“We took the opportunity of this anniversary to give birth to ‘Cooperatores veritatis’,” Mr Marsura beamed.
“To Pope Benedict XVI goes our most sincere thanks for accepting and encouraging the work of the Museum of Papi! Ad multos annos!”
Albano Poli, Founder of Progetto Arte Poli, expressed his great emotion in presenting this new exhibition on Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.
“The courage and determination that led him to the unforgettable gesture with which he handed over the leadership of the Church to his successor Pope Francis, you can catch in the fundamentals of his life,” Mr Poli stated.
“A path we have sought to realise through the objects and images exhibited in the occasion of this exhibition, almost a journey from adolescence at the beginning of his ecclesiastical career, from election to resignation.
“The breadth of its cultural, theological, artistic, and philosophical, it can also be seen in the portrait of which I directed with my son Paul running and wanting to be our tribute to the figure of this extraordinary Pope.”