The Apollo Belvedere or Apollo of the Belvedere—also called the Pythian Apollo—is a celebrated marble sculpture from Classical Antiquity. The Apollo is now thought to be a Roman copy of Hadrianic date (ca. 120–140) of a lost bronze original made between 350 and 325 BC by the Greek sculptor Leochares.
L'Osservatore Romano (pronounced [losservaˈtoːre roˈmaːno]; Italian for "The Roman Observer") is the daily newspaper of Vatican City State which reports on the activities of the Holy See and events taking place in the Church and the world. It is owned by the Holy See but is not an official publication, a role reserved for Acta Apostolicae Sedis. The views expressed in the Osservatore are those of individual authors unless they appear under the specific titles "Nostre Informazioni" or "Santa Sede".
The Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City (Italian: Pontificia Commissione per lo Stato della Città del Vaticano, Latin: Pontificia Commissio pro Civitate Vaticana) is the legislative body of Vatican City. It consists of President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State, who is also President of the Pontifical Commission, and six other cardinals appointed by the pope for five-year terms.
The Institute for the Works of Religion (Italian: Istituto per le Opere di Religione – IOR; Latin: Institutum pro Operibus Religionis), commonly known as the Vatican Bank, is a private bank situated inside Vatican City and run by a Board of Superintendence which reports to a Supervisory Commission of Cardinals and the Pope. The Bank Identifier Code of the Institute for the Works of Religion is IOPRVAVX. Since 9 July 2014, its president is Jean-Baptiste de Franssu. The IOR is regulated by the Vatican's financial supervisory body AIF (Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria).
The Counter-Reformation (Latin: Contrareformatio), also called the Catholic Reformation (Latin: Reformatio Catholica) or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and ended with the 1781 Patent of Toleration. Initiated to preserve the power, influence and material wealth enjoyed by the Catholic Church and to present a theological and material challenge to Reformation, the Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort composed of five major elements:
Porta San Pellegrino is a gate in the outer wall of Vatican City. It is located beside Bernini's Colonnade and the small Vatican post; it is also known as Porta Viridaria. The gate was rebuilt by Pope Alexander VI in 1492 and his arms are at the top of the gate. The gate is little used.
Charity with Four Children is a sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Executed between 1627 and 1628, the work is housed in the Vatican Museums in Vatican City. The small terracotta sculpture represents Charity breast-feeding a child, with three other children playing. There is an imprint of the artist's thumbprint in the clay.
World Youth Day 1984 was an international meeting promoted by Pope John Paul II at the extraordinary Holy Year of the Redemption. It was the first large youth gathering promoted by the Catholic Church. From that experience came the idea of the World Youth Days which since then have been held, every two or three years, in different countries of the world.
World Youth Day 1985 was a meeting on the occasion of the International Youth Year held in Rome on March 30th and 31st 1985and it was the second great international meeting promoted by the Catholic Church and later named World Youth Day. This was considered the birth of these events, which would begin to be called of this way on the next year.
The papal conclave of 1829 to elect a successor to Pope Leo XII after his death on 10 February 1829 began on 24 February 1829.
The conservation-restoration of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel was one of the most significant conservation-restorations of the 20th century.
The papal conclave of 1774–75 (October 5 – February 15), was convoked after the death of Pope Clement XIV and ended with the election of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Braschi, who took the name of Pius VI.
The Pio Cristiano Museum is one of the Vatican Museums. It houses various works of Christian antiquity.
The Vatican Apostolic Library (Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Italian: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly called the Vatican Library or simply the Vat, is the library of the Holy See, located in Vatican City. Formally established in 1475, although it is much older, it is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. It has 75,000 codices from throughout history, as well as 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula.
The Gardens of Vatican City (Latin: Horti Civitatis Vaticanae), also informally known as the Vatican Gardens (Italian: Giardini Vaticani) in Vatican City, are private urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the country, located in the west of the territory and owned by the Pope. There are some buildings, such as Radio Vatican and the Governor's Palace, within the gardens.
The Niccoline Chapel (Italian: Cappella Niccolina) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. It is especially notable for its fresco paintings by Fra Angelico (1447–1451) and his assistants, who may have executed much of the actual work. The name is derived from its patron, Pope Nicholas V, who had it built for use as his private chapel.
The Pietà (Italian: [pjeˈta]; English: "The Pity"; 1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.
The Borgia Apartments are a suite of rooms in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI (Rodrígo de Borgia). In the late 15th century, he commissioned the Italian painter Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio) and his studio to decorate them with frescos.
The statue of Laocoön and His Sons, also called the Laocoön Group (Italian: Gruppo del Laocoonte), has been one of the most famous ancient sculptures ever since it was excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed on public display in the Vatican, where it remains. It is very likely the same statue praised in the highest terms by the main Roman writer on art, Pliny the Elder. The figures are near life-size and the group is a little over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in height, showing the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents.
The Secretariat for the Economy (Italian: Segreteria per l'economia) is a dicastery of the Roman Curia with authority over all economic activities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.
The Last Judgment (Italian: Il Giudizio Universale) is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo covering the whole altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. It is a depiction of the Second Coming of Christ and the final and eternal judgment by God of all humanity. The souls of humans rise and descend to their fates, as judged by Christ who is surrounded by prominent saints. Altogether there are over 300 figures, with nearly all the males and angels originally shown as nudes; many were later partly covered up by painted draperies, of which some remain after recent cleaning and restoration.
The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the central papal governing bureaucracy of the Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of the Holy See. The Secretariat is divided into three sections, the Section for General Affairs, the Section for Relations with States, and, since 2017, the Section for Diplomatic Staff.
The Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas (PAST) (Pontificia Academia Sancti Thomae Aquinatis) was established on 15 October 1879 by Pope Leo XIII who appointed two presidents, his brother and noted Thomist Giuseppe Pecci (1879–1890) and Tommaso Maria Zigliara, professor of theology at the College of Saint Thomas, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.
The Gallery of Maps (Italian: Galleria delle carte geografiche) is a gallery located on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard in the Vatican containing a series of painted topographical maps of Italy based on drawings by friar and geographer Ignazio Danti.
The papal conclave of 1914 was held to choose a successor to Pope Pius X, who had died in the Vatican on 20 August 1914.
The papal conclave of 1740 (18 February – 17 August), convoked after the death of Pope Clement XII on 6 February 1740, was one of the longest conclaves since the 13th century.
The Chair of Saint Peter (Latin: Cathedra Petri), also known as the Throne of Saint Peter, is a relic conserved in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the sovereign enclave of the Pope inside Rome, Italy. The relic is a wooden throne that tradition claims the Apostle Saint Peter, the leader of the Early Christians in Rome and first Pope, used as Bishop of Rome. The relic is enclosed in a sculpted gilt bronze casing designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and executed between 1647 and 1653. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI described the chair as "a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his Successors to tend Christ’s flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity."
The papal conclave of 2005 was convened to elect a new pope following the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April 2005. After his death, the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church who were in Rome met and set a date for the beginning of the conclave to elect his successor. Of the 117 eligible members of the College of Cardinals, those younger than 80 years of age at the time of the death of Pope John Paul II, all but two attended. After several days of private meetings attended by both cardinal electors and non-voting cardinals, the conclave began on 18 April 2005. It ended the following day after four ballots with the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. After accepting his election, he took the pontifical name of Benedict XVI.
Augustus of Prima Porta (Italian: Augusto di Prima Porta) is a 2.03 m high marble statue of Augustus Caesar, the first and one of the most significant emperors of Ancient Rome, which was discovered on April 20, 1863 in the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta, near Rome. Augustus Caesar's wife Livia Drusilla, now known as Julia Augusta, retired to the villa after his death. The sculpture is now displayed in the Braccio Nuovo (New Arm) of the Vatican Museums.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Italian: Pontificia accademia delle scienze, Latin: Pontificia Academia Scientiarum) is a scientific academy of the Vatican City, established in 1936 by Pope Pius XI, and thriving with the blessing of the Papacy ever since. Its aim is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems. The Academy has its origins in the Accademia Pontificia dei Nuovi Lincei ("Pontifical Academy of the New Lynxes"), founded in 1847 as a more closely supervised successor to the Accademia dei Lincei ("Academy of Lynxes") established in Rome in 1603 by the learned Roman Prince, Federico Cesi (1585–1630), who was a young botanist and naturalist, and which claimed Galileo Galilei as its president. The Accademia dei Lincei survives as a wholly separate institution.
The transportation system in Vatican City, a country 1.05 km long and 0.85 km wide, is a small transportation system with no airports or highways. There is no public transport in the country. A heliport and a short railway is used for special occasions only. Most visitors will walk from a nearby Italian bus or train stop, or car parking. Given an average walking speed of 3.6 km/h, Vatican City can be crossed in 20 minutes or less. Thus, much of the infrastructure in the Vatican consists of St. Peter's Square itself, hallways and aisles in the basilica and surrounding buildings, and walkways behind and between the buildings. The Vatican City Heliport is in the western corner of the city-state, and is used only for officials of the Holy See and official visitors.
Grotta di Lourdes (also Grotta della Madonna di Lourdes) is an artificial cave in the Vatican gardens. It was built in 1902–5 and is a replica of the Lourdes Grotto in France. The context of building this grotto is the vision of the Madonna that a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, experienced 18 times. Prior to that the Pope had promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854.
The Vision of Constantine is an equestrian sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, located in the Scala Regia by St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Originally commissioned as a free standing work of art within St. Peter's itself, the sculpture was finally unveiled in 1670 as an integral part of the Scala Regia - Bernini's redesigned stairway between St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Palace. Unlike other large works by Bernini, art historians have suggested that this work was almost entirely undertaken by him - no other sculptors have been recorded as receiving payment. Bernini's overall fee was 7,000 Roman scudi.
The Tomb of Pope Alexander VII is a sculptural monument designed and partially executed by the Italian artist Gianlorenzo Bernini. It is located in the south transept of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. The piece was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII himself. However, construction of the monument didn't start until 1671 and was completed in 1678, eleven years after the Pope's death. At the age of 81, this would be Bernini's last major sculptural commission before his death in 1680.
Saint Longinus is a sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Completed in 1638, the marble sculpture sits in the north-eastern niche in the crossing of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. It is over four meters high. An early spectator of the statue, the English diarist John Evelyn, called it a work of "Colossean magnitude".
Santo Stefano degli Ungheresi (also San Stefanino and Santo Stefano degli Unni) was the church of the Hungarians in Rome. Located next to the Vatican, the old church was pulled down in 1776, to make room for an extension of St. Peter's Basilica.
The Governor's Palace (Italian: Palazzo del Governatorato in Vaticano) is the seat of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State. The palace is located in the Vatican Gardens behind St. Peter's Basilica.
The papal conclave of 1922, was held following Pope Benedict XV's death from pneumonia on 22 January 1922 after a reign of eight years. 53 of the 60 cardinals assembled in the Sistine Chapel eleven days later on 2 February to elect his successor. They chose Cardinal Achille Ratti on the fourteenth ballot, held on the fifth day of the conclave. He took the name Pius XI. The new pope immediately revived the traditional public blessing from the balcony, Urbi et Orbi ("to the city and to the world"), which his predecessors had eschewed since the loss of Rome to the Italian state in 1870.
The death of Pope Gregory XVI on 1 June 1846 triggered the papal conclave of 1846. Fifty of the 62 members of the College of Cardinals assembled in the Quirinal Palace, one of the papal palaces in Rome and the seat of two earlier 19th century conclaves. The conclave began on 14 June and had to elect a pope who would not only be head of the Catholic Church but also the head of state and government of the Papal States, the extensive lands around Rome and Northern Italy which the Catholic Church governed.
The Vatican post office has operated its own postal service and issued its own postage stamps since 1929.
St Stephen of the Abyssinians (Italian: Santo Stefano degli Abissini) is an Ethiopian Catholic church located in Vatican City. The church dedicated to Stephen the Protomartyr is the national church of Ethiopia. The liturgy is celebrated according to the Alexandrian rite of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. It is one of the only standing structures in the Vatican (besides the clementine chapel, niche of the pallia, the apostolic palace complex) to survive the destruction of old St. Peter's basilica, and thus it is the oldest surviving church (in terms of architectural history) in Vatican City.
The Latinitas Foundation (Latin: Opus Fundatum Latinitas) was an organisation dedicated to furthering the education of Latin and publication of the articles in the language. It was established on 30 June 1976 by Pope Paul VI and was superseded by the Pontifical Academy for Latin (Pontificia Academia Latinitatis) which was established on 10 November 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Following the death of Pope Pius XI on 10 February 1939, all 62 cardinals of the Catholic Church met in the papal conclave of 1939 on 1 March. The next day, on the third ballot, they elected Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, who was Camerlengo and Secretary of State, as pope. He accepted and took the name Pius XII. It was his 63rd birthday.
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (Latin: Pontificia Academia Scientiarum Socialium, or PASS) was established on 1 January 1994 by Pope John Paul II and is headquartered in the Casina Pio IV in Vatican City. It operates much like other learned societies worldwide, but has the special task of entering into dialogue with the Church. Its scientific activities are organised and focused to promote this dialogue.
The papal conclave of 1830–31, was held commencing 14 December 1830 after the death of Pope Pius VIII. It did not conclude until the 2 February 1831 election of Mauro Alberto Cappellari as Pope Gregory XVI.
The papal conclave of 1823, was convoked following the death of Pope Pius VII on 20 August 1823. The conclave began on 2 September and ended 26 days later with the election of Cardinal Annibale della Genga who became Pope Leo XII.
The Collection of Modern Religious Art of the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani, Collezione Arte Religiosa Moderna) is a collection of paintings, graphic art and sculptures. It occupies 55 rooms: the Apartment of Alexander VI (in the first floor of the Apostolic Palace), the two floors of the Salette Borgia, a series of rooms below the Sistine Chapel, and a series of rooms on the ground floor.
The papal conclave of 1730 elected Pope Clement XII as the successor to Pope Benedict XIII.
The papal conclave of 1758 (May 15 – July 6), convoked after the death of Pope Benedict XIV, it elected Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico of Venice, who took the name Clement XIII.
Bombing of Vatican City occurred twice during World War II. The first occasion was on the evening of 5 November 1943, when a plane dropped bombs on the area south-west of Saint Peter's Basilica, causing considerable damage but no casualties. The second bombing, which affected only the outer margin of the city, was at about the same hour on 1 March 1944, and caused the death of one person and the injury of another.
Bramante Staircase is the name given to two staircases in the Vatican Museums in the Vatican City State: the original stair, built in 1505, and a modern equivalent from 1932.
The Church of San Pellegrino in Vaticano (English: Saint Peregrine in the Vatican) is an ancient Roman Catholic oratory in the Vatican City, located on the Via dei Pellegrini. The church is dedicated to Saint Peregrine of Auxerre, a Roman priest appointed by Pope Sixtus II who had suffered martyrdom in Gaul in the third century. It is one of the oldest churches in the Vatican City.
The papal conclave of 1769 (15 February – 19 May), was convoked after the death of Pope Clement XIII. It elected as his successor Cardinal Lorenzo Ganganelli, who took the name Clement XIV.
The Sala Regia (Regal Room) is a state hall in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.
The papal tombs in old St. Peter's Basilica were the final resting places of the popes, most which dated from the fifth to sixteenth centuries. The majority of these tombs were destroyed during the sixteenth through seventeenth century demolition of old St. Peter's Basilica, except for one which was destroyed during the Saracen Sack of the church in 846. The remainder were transferred in part to new St. Peter's Basilica, which stands on the site of the original basilica, and a handful of other churches of Rome.
The Vatican Film Library is a film archive established in 1959 by Pope John XXIII. The collection comprises over 7,000 films including historic films, Church events, commercial films and documentaries.
The papal conclave of 2013 was convened to elect a pope to succeed Pope Benedict XVI following his resignation on 28 February 2013. After the 115 participating cardinal-electors gathered, they set 12 March 2013 as the beginning of the conclave. On the fifth ballot, the conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He took the pontifical name of Francis.