Art’s Role in Faith

Despite the extensive amount of Vatican art, architectural treasures, and restoration work that Patrons were able to see during our 30th Anniversary celebrations, perhaps the most powerful experience of the entire week was not seen but heard. In a very special private audience in the Sala Clementina on October 19th, over 350 visiting Patrons were personally greeted by Pope Francis.  The experience was so captivating and unforgettable—the sheer presence of the Holy Father in the room moved many to tears. Amidst all the excitement, Pope Francis delivered some very thoughtful words to the Patrons.  His address painted a picture, if you will, of the importance of art in expressing the beauty of faith. He spoke about how the sacred imagery showcased in the Vatican Museums’ collections reveal to countless pilgrims this sublime beauty, sourced from and fulfilled by God, which serves as iconographic testament to the gospel message.  Perhaps most memorable of his words were those that addressed the Patrons directly:

“Dear friends, may your patronage of the arts in the Vatican Museums always be a sign of your interior participation in the spiritual life and mission of the Church. May it also be an expression of our hope in the coming of that Kingdom whose beauty, harmony and peace are the expectation of every human heart and the inspiration of mankind’s highest artistic aspirations.”

To read more, follow this link ( to a wonderful Catholic News Agency article about this special event.