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Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Walk Through the New Home of Benedict XVI - The Vatican Gardens

Last Summer during a visit to Rome, we had the opportunity to take a tour of the Vatican Gardens.  In hindsight, I am so glad that we did.  Who knows what will be open to the public after our pope emeritus moves into his new home in those gardens?

During the hot, hot days of July in Rome, the Vatican Gardens are a cool, shaded, peaceful retreat.  One can easily imagine Pius IX or Benedict XV strolling the cobbled walks, Rosary in hand.  Especially during the conflict with secular authorities after the First Vatican Council, the gardens would most likely have been the familiar sanctuary for the pontiffs.

The tour begins in the noisy and very crowded Vatican museum.  So, it is quite a wonderful contrast stepping into the fragrant and secluded gardens.


Here is a view of the dome of St. Peter's taken from the same vantage point as the monastery where Benedict XVI will be living.  Perhaps this will be the view from his window.


The altar at the Lourdes grotto.  I have seen photos of our pope emeritus praying his Rosary by this grotto.



Lourdes Grotto


Crest of John Paul II on Planter


One of many fountains installed by Pope Paul V -
Who was nicknamed "Fontifex" due to
his love of fountains 
The heliport is at the rear corner of the Vatican gardens.  A turret from one of the walls overlooks it on one side.  Our tour guide told us that Pope John XXIII like to retire to that turret to relax.  Our Lady of Loreto is the patron of the heliport.  The holy house of Loreto is said to be the house of the Holy Family that miraculously "flew" from the Holy Land to Loreto, Italy.  Hence, the patronage of flight.



Turret used by John XXIII




Statue of Juan Diego with miraculous tilma
of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Bench with Crest of Benedict XVI
Hope you enjoyed this little stroll through the Vatican Gardens, the future home of Benedict XVI.  May he have many years of peace within its bounds.

n.b. - pictures by Christopher Heller, 2012

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