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Pope Inaugurates, Blesses Fountain Dedicated to Namesake
Carol Glatz
Source: Catholic News Service
Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010
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VATICAN CITY (CNS)—Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated and blessed a new fountain installed in the Vatican Gardens and dedicated to St. Joseph in honor of the pope's baptismal name.

The fountain is made up of two large oval pools carved out of tonalite—a granite-like rock found in the Italian and Austrian Alps. Water gurgles out from craggy rocks into a 20-foot-wide basin, then gently cascades into a 26-foot-wide basin below.

The pope thanked all those involved in creating and donating the fountain, saying the work of art would add to the rich historic and artistic treasures dotted throughout "the enchanting green area" of the Vatican Gardens.

The gardens, he said, have been an important place "that I often go to with pleasure to spend time in prayer and peaceful relaxation."

Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the commission governing Vatican City State, said at the July 5 ceremony that in keeping with the pope's teachings on respect for the environment, the fountain was made to recirculate the same water rather than let it be wasted by running into the drainage or sewer system.

Behind the fountain are six large bronze panels depicting some significant events in the life of St. Joseph; they include his marriage to Mary, the birth of Jesus and the flight into Egypt.

The fountain was made possible through the generosity of two members of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, the Sisters of St. Joseph in Kyoto, Japan, and the province of Trento in northern Italy.

To celebrate the inauguration of its 100th fountain, the Vatican is publishing a three-volume series illustrating all 100 fountains that grace the roadways, gardens, monuments and squares of Vatican City State.

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