01 October 2008

Vatican Splendors in River City

Last night I attended the Vatican Splendors exhibit at the MN History Center during an Educator Open House. Couldn't beat the price of admission: free! I am planning on going back on the day our homeschool group is scheduled for a tour with the kids. I do have to say, it was wonderful to leisurely walk through the exhibit, read all the information and have a few moments (in silence) to take in each work of art or display. Plus, the head phones they provided us gratis were wonderful too.

I didn't buy the $25 program and couldn't find the painting on an internet search, so can't show you what I'm talking about, but there is a portrait of the commander of the Swiss Guard that looks a lot like Father Z. Or maybe it's Bobby Darin or Kevin Spacey...check it out if you get a chance to see the exhibit.

Oddly, the thing I remember most is Pope Benedict's bee chasuble. Maybe because it was one of the last things in the exhibit. Also couldn't find it in an internet search. Darn. Just doesn't fit with what I assumed Pope Bene's sensibilities were, especially since I have curtains from IKEA with this same pattern on them!!

The Swiss Guard display was cool, but I am a bit biased. The Mandylion of Edessa was also pretty spectacular.

That Napoleon was quite the character, wasn't he.

Also liked seeing the tiaras, papal chairs and the vestments Pope Benedict tried on in the Room of Tears (the room the newly elected pontiff goes upon election to select his garments from the three sizes provided him and to collect his thoughts and gain his composure). The audio provided during the tour said that Pope John Paul II wept for quite some time in this room when he was elected Pope. Check out the clip below called Room of Tears. (I haven't had time on my slow dial-up to view it all yet myself.)

Lyrics to the song in the video:
A plume of smoke, rises in the air
Was it white or black, it's a bit unclear
But there's thunder outside
As your heart pounds in your ears

The weight of the world, has fallen on you
It's like a dream, but a little too true
It wasn't in your plans
You'd have this job to do

You gaze up at the ceiling at the moment of truth
500 years have gone by and the sky is still blue
You see the hand of God
Is now pointing right at you

You're in a room of tears
And they've closed the door
But there's a litany of saints
Who've gone this way before (repeat)

They give you three pair of shoes, you try each one
One's too big, the other's just a bit snug
And only one pair
Fits just like a glove

A quiet retirement with some time to read
A little bit of Mozart was all you'd need
You never thought
You'd wear the Fisherman's ring

You have a flock to feed, about a billion souls,
That's a little bit of pressure from what you've been told
But there'll be a bit more grace
When you sit on Peter's throne


Mairin :o) said...

The exhibit sounds really great. The video make me tear up for some reason.

Lisa said...

We're going soon too, can't wait!! Hope all is well with you, Swissy.

swissmiss said...

Mairin and Lisa:
VERY weird to find your comments here today because I was just thinking of both of you this afternoon. Hadn't been by Mairin's blog so was going to check to see how the wedding went and hadn't heard from Lisa in ages so just today while I was sitting at the kids' speech therapist I was wondering about you guys. Hope you both are well!

Chris said...

odd question.....but do you happen to know if they allow photography in the exhibit? I'm sure they don't allow flash.
Just wondering if I should bring my camera. ;D
Thanks for the preview!

Sanctus Belle said...

I saw this display in Montreal a few years ago. I found the most moving part of the display the plaster casting of JPII's hand at the end that could be touched. It seemed to reach out to each one of us to follow him to Christ.

swissmiss said...

No cameras. Also no strollers or large bags...small diaper bags are OK. There is a gift shop at the end of the tour that sells the program that covers all the exhibits, but it was $25! The tour took me about an hour and twenty minutes at kind of a leisurely pace without kids. They say most people do it within two hours.

swissmiss said...

They still had the hand of JPII at the end. What was moving for me is seeing one of his vestments that was shorter in the front and longer in the back, tailored because of his stooped posture. Sad and brave all at the same time.

Jackie Parkes said...

Would you mind adding my blog to your links please? I will add yours..

Lisa said...

Things are busy here-I'll send you an update e-mail!!
God bless.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Swissy: I was there yesterday. It was so packed, I'm going to have to go again. I did not see the Mandylion. Not sure if they removed it or if it was just crowded I missed it. I also did not see the shoes. I did not realize JP II was so short-based upon his papal vestment.

I may blog on this show later.