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.
|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
Turret used by John XXIII
|Statue of Juan Diego with miraculous tilma|
of Our Lady of Guadalupe
|Bench with Crest of Benedict XVI|
n.b. - pictures by Christopher Heller, 2012