Have you heard about the city within the city? To get your answer you have to come to Italy. A small yet enormous powerful European city is a must-see. Not only because of its holiness, but also the marvelous structures and statues. Further, at the very heart of Rome City is located the Vatican City. Moreover, it is an independent city-state. The bishop of Rome, i.e. the Pope, rules the city. Additionally, the Central Authority of Roman Catholic Churches is here.
Geography of Vatican City
The smallest state in Europe, the independent Vatican City, spans only 0.44 km. Further, within the walls of the city, approximately 1000 people live. Major attractions are the St.Peter’s Church, the beautiful garden that surrounds the Apostolic Palace where the pope stays and the decorated huge St.Peter’s square grounds where pilgrims flock. The city gained independence on February 11th, 1929. Consequently, the Lateran Treaty was signed by Mussolini and Pope Pius XI.
Who are the Popes in the Vatican City?
Pappas, a Greek word, gave rise to the word pope, which means father. Moreover, he can be designated as the supreme leader who dictates his supremacy over Catholic churches spread worldwide. Moreover, they were holy rulers of their independent city-state. The Bishops were entitled to a Pope. But only those Bishops were entitled to the title when they were elected by the clerics and entrusted to a higher authority.
History of the Popes of Vatican City
Saint Peters was the first pope of Vatican City. Further, the Bible predicts he was a prominent disciple of a total of twelve. Jesus, then, visited Peter and handed him the key to heaven. The introduction of the papacy span began with St.Peter. Moreover, he is also known to have resurrected the church on a rock that we see today. His successor pope was selected from a group of disciples led by him.
Vatican City Impact on Rome
Between the period 27 BC and 286 AD there was a profound rise of Christianity. Further, Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire, and a maximum influx of Catholic Churches was built here. Moreover, the Christians believe a myth that Naro assassinated St.Peters. But, it is not a proven fact. However, Christianity became taboo for the Romans and they killed whoever had converted to Christianity or practiced the religion. Maybe fear of getting killed prompted the successors of St.Peter to hide. The predecessors of St.Peter can not be traced to Vatican City today.
Renaissance in Vatican City
Pope Damasus I was appointed as the first official bishop of the church. He was a bishop from Rome who was assigned the power of a Pope under the rule of Emperor Constantine. His services were dated from 366 to 384 AD. The papacy tradition continued even after his death. However, threats arose subsequently because of differences in opinion. During the period of the Renaissance, the papal primacy got involved to establish balance in turmoil and situations. They communicated with the government to help them with this matter. However, Pope Gregory I was reigning Pope in Vatican City from 598 to 604 AD. He issued a doctrine called ecclesiastical, which refers to the respect and authority shown by bishops owning other jurisdictions.
Modern Day Pope at Vatican City
Even today, the authoritative and immense respect towards the Pope remains. Further, Pope Benedict XVI was succeeded by Pope Francis in March 2013. Moreover, the practices by Pope Francis are informal. The modern-day Pope is highly appreciated by people across the world for his simplicity. His white dress and an iron locket with a cross attracted many in Buenos Aires. Presumably, the age-old traditions of the Popes of Vatican City are being modified. As far as dressing is concerned, the traditional red-trimmed mozzetta worn by earlier Popes has been obsolete nowadays.
Duty as a Pope in Vatican City
Both the public and the media are immensely impressed by the knowledge and beliefs of Pope Francis. As the 266th successor of St.Peter, Pope Francis is required by 1.2 billion Catholics spread over the world. As a Pope he keeps busy with appointments internationally. Weekly about 5000 pilgrims are attended by him. Moreover, ritually the pope comes to his library window which overlooks St.Peter’s Square. Every Sunday you can find him waving and blessing his followers all around the world. Every year he conducts meetings with about 5000 bishops across the globe.
More About Pope Francis
Not only on Sundays, but the pope also meets the pilgrims and major events, like Good Friday, Midnight mass on Christmas, or the parade of New Year. Moreover, the pope addresses thousands of pilgrims to catch a glimpse of the religious supremo. Pope Francis realized the need of learning other languages to address people from various language backgrounds.
So, to mitigate the issue of the language barrier, besides English, he deliberated to learn German, Italian, Latin, Spanish, and Portuguese. He addresses his deliveries in various languages to make them understandable to varied people. Further, the pope’s job is quite hectic. Besides his responsibility on national grounds, he has to make international trips to build personal relations. Also, spread the word of unity. Briefly, to become a successful pope one has to be religious. Furthermore, he should be moral and politically motivated.
Duty of international visits was meant for spreading words of togetherness. However, Pope Francis met former presidents of the USA like Obama and Donald Trump to discuss global warming and climate change. Further, they discussed terrorism and the refugee crisis, the major issues of today. Not only leaders but celebrities like Angelina Jolie for her humanitarian work. As well as Leonardo Di Carpio for his environmental deliberations.
Mother Teresa Awarded Sainthood in Vatican City
To celebrate the life and contributions of the extraordinary woman Mother Teresa, though the weather was quite hot, millions of pilgrims gathered at St.Peter’s square of Vatican City to participate in the awarding ceremony in the lady with a golden heart. Born in the Albanian community, she made her way to India with the desire to serve the poor and needy. Further, Teresa’s sense of belonging to Albania is reflected in the costumes the nuns wear. The Unique sarees with a blue border symbolize the flag of Albania. She formed Missions Of Charity at Kolkata, India to serve her humanitarian activities better.
Brief About Mother
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in 1910 to her ethnic Albanian parents. Moreover, she grew up in Skopje, which happened to be a part of the Ottoman Empire. She joined the Irish wing of Loreto at the age of 19. She was deported to India in 1929 to work as a teacher. In Darjeeling, she taught a person named Theresa till 1946. She moved to Kolkata to serve slum dwellers. Moreover, after a decade, she established homes for abandoned street children. She has remained in Kolkata since then, never returning to her homeland. She died in 1997 at 87 years.
In 2002, it was due to a mother’s prayers to God, an Indian lady got cured of her tumor ailment in her stomach. The second miracle occurred when a Brazilian man with brain tumors got rectified by Teresas’ grace. Within nine years of death, she received sainthood. Credit goes to Pope John Paul II who escalated the process. Otherwise, sainthood was granted decades after death.
Apart from her worldwide acclaim for her work for the destitute, she was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It was in recognition of her heartfelt attitude towards the slum dwellers of Kolkata. The second miracle happened when a Brazilian man recovered from a brain tumor. She was recognized as a Saint for her humanitarian work throughout her life. It happened courtesy of Pope Francis of the Vatican City Church, who realized her contribution to the poor.
In 1950, Missionaries of Charity was built by her. Sisterhood began worldwide. Today, almost 4500 sisters can be accounted for worldwide service. Besides, Mother Teresa had also set up 19 homes that are managed by sisters.
Thirteen heads of the government, Pope Francis, and hundreds of sisters gathered to witness the coronation. Moreover, 1500 homeless people from various parts of Italy attended the ceremony. Besides, millions of pilgrims gathered at St.Peter’s square in Vatican City to honor the charitable deeds of Teresa. There was a lunch period where about 250 sisters distributed pizzas.
Mother Teresa’s activities were not without criticism. Some people found the way the sisters handled the patients was unhygienic. Further, some others felt she was getting paid by Catholic authorities for her duty.
Soon after Mother Teresa’s second miracle came into the limelight, Pope Francis cleared the provision of Sainthood in 2002. His impression of the works of the mother was commensurate to the works of the church with i.e. treating the underprivileged. Moreover, the jubilee celebration coincided with the coronation ceremony of Mother Teresa.
Briefly the Ceremony
The coronation ceremony began in the Vatican City with consulator Angelo Amato introducing Mother Teresa in her biography as well as the works she accomplished during her lifetime. Followed by Pope Francis who granted sainthood recognition to Mother Teresa of culture. Moreover, he praised the noble works she did in her lifetime. Furthermore, he expressed gratitude mother T3projected the problem of poverty to the powerful who resulted in the cause of poverty.
Fascinating Security Guards of Vatican City
While trailing through Vatican City, the colorfully dressed guards are an eye-catching phenomenon. The Swiss guards wearing iconic yellow, blue and red dresses create a mesmerizing feel. As if you are viewing jesters from the Renaissance period. Mostly they keep silent. The Swiss guards are assigned to safeguard the pope as well as his apolistic palace. The Pope’s Swiss guards are iconic figures in the city. There are six amazing facts about the Swiss guards that nobody knows.
- Switzerland has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But 500 years back, the situation was different. A lot of young trained warriors had to leave their nation in search of earnings. However, renaissance Europe understood the value of these men. Pope Julius II built a military force in continuous service to safeguard their assets. They exist in present times also. Further, they still practice some customs that belonged to the renaissance era.
- Before selecting the guard, a few criteria were there. Candidates must be between 19 to 30 years of age and they should not be less than 5’-8” tall. Not only unmarried men but also educated people could apply for a position. Further, they needed to be Roman Catholics. Local priests must endorse their practice.
- Post selection, the candidates are supposed to complete their basic military training in their hometown. Further, they are subjected to a five-week training session in Rome. Once the candidates finish their first course of training, they become Halberdiers. The title refers to the kind of weapons used by the Swiss army in the 14th or 15th century.
- The guards are responsible for safeguarding the Basilica, the pope, and the palace of the whole of Vatican City. Besides, the guards also participate in ceremonial practices like the guard of honor for visitors or the audience. The shortest duration for guards is 25 months. Once assigned to a contract, the candidates are assigned to an Italian language class. By the end of the year, the candidates can get assigned to gate management duties. They are mostly involved in managing guest visits. The gestures of the guards of the Vatican speak a lot. On Honor Duty, the guards stand silently with a halberd in hand. It means they are not approachable. But if they stand with folded hands, they are approachable and friendly.
- Uniform worn by the Guards
- In 1527, there was a massive battle with the Roman Empire. Further, in the battle, about 190 Swiss guards lost their lives. Moreover, Swiss Guards helped Pope Clement VII escape through a secret tunnel to Vatican City.
Main Attractions of Vatican City
Saint Peter’s Square
One of the largest squares in the world is at the base of the Basilica
Saint Peter’s Basilica
The world’s biggest Renaissance-styled church. The burial of a lot of popes happened here
The most admirable museum in Vatican City is the Vatican Museum. It not only houses the old relics and paintings of yesteryear but also leads you to the Sistine chapel. Besides, it also leads you to the chapel Baeto, Raphael, and Angelico rooms.
It is a must-see if you are visiting Vatican City. It is the most treasured part of the museum. The fabulous design and artwork will make your jaw drop.
As per the Muslim religious pilgrimage to Mecca, once in a lifetime washes off all your sins. Similarly, for Catholic Christians, Vatican City is the utmost destination. The central authority of Catholicism is located in the Vatican. The Pope is the leader for those followers of the Catholic religion. In the recent past, Mother Teresa was granted sainthood. Moreover, there are other attractions too, besides the religious purpose. There are fountains, numerous life-like statues that will fascinate you. Moreover, the city sits in the heart of Rome. Location wise, it is well connected by bus or metro. The pope rules the city as well as the church.
2 thoughts on “Vatican City: The Citadel Of Catholic Christians”
Very interesting, thank you