At Cincinnati's Museum Center on December, two workers open the first of the Vatican exhibit crates while Msgr. Robert Zagnoli, Curator of the Vatican Museums, looks on.

'St. Peter and the Vatican' Comes to Cincinnati

The historic show had been in Houston and Miami. It will be in Cincinnati until April 18, then off to its final stop of the 18-month tour in San Diego. Eighty percent of the artifacts have never been on public display.

Cincinnati is one of four stops in the United States for an historic display of Vatican artifacts. Between now and April 18 the 15,000-square- foot exhibit will present more than 350 objects in contextual settings spanning 2,000 years of papal history.

Photos to right: In the crate photographed above were two representative artifacts, shown (top) by Msgr. Zagnoli (r) and Carlo Pellegrini, a "Guard" of the papal sacristy who helps maintain the precious objects at the Vatican.

The chalice to the right was a gift from Spain to Pope Pius IX, who was instrumental in establishing the Vatican museums. Below that is a Missal stand made of a tortoise shell in the New World by Christopher Columbus's crew on his third voyage. There was a religious dimension to his voyages. Pope John Paul II wants the New Evangelization, which we all are part of, to be a key theme of this exhibit.

Finally, there is a sculpture cast with the hand of Pope John Paul II. Visitors are encouraged to touch the sculpture if they wish. The Holy Father wrote a special message of welcome for visitors to this exhibit, which is on display near the entrance to the exhibit.

Read the St. Anthony Messenger article about this exhibit.

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