Sadly, many people who don't know the name of the present Pope turn out to be quite well versed in the more scandalous papacies of centuries past. Yet that same mentality that takes a gossip magazine as seriously as a history text, never fails to be taken aback by the number of people thronging St. Peter's Square today, traveling thousands of miles to see the Successor of St. Peter.
For them, it seems inexplicable that after such human frailty, the Church can still be vibrant and active 2,000 years later. For Catholics, however, this comes as reassuring, daily proof that the Holy Spirit is constantly sustaining the Church.
St. Peter's Basilica itself presents a splendid example of the gentle guidance of Divine Providence toward greatness. The (relatively) new St. Peter's took 120 years and about 10 architects to build, while vicious rivalries and disastrous setbacks colored the history of the construction. All this is recounted in the recently opened exhibition in the Charlemagne wing of St. Peter's Square.
This stunning show, "Petros Eni," or "Peter is Within," presents the Popes, architects and saints involved in the history of this church, marking its 500th anniversary this year. Ancient yellowed documents, artistic masterpieces and unique artifacts are on display in this exhibit open until March 8.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Also in today's Zenit dispatch is Elizabeth Lev's occasional column, this one on an exhibit on the history of St. Peter's Basilica.