Holy Experience

We were honored to visit the Vatican earlier this year. Room after room was filled with indescribable beauty, where the genius of the artists was overwhelming. As our guide from Private Tour of Rome provided us a wonderful tour of The Eternal City, I attempted to capture the splendor of the sculptures and paintings. IMPOSSIBLE!

The detail to each of the tile “paintings” on the floors was amazing. Mural maps covered walls with such precision…with no GPS or satellite available how in the world could they do this? Would these geniuses be recognized today?

Part of our tour took us by St. Peter’s Basilica’s Holy Door or ‘Porta Sancta’, which is always shut and only opened during Jubilee years. The door represents Jesus, the Good Shepherd and the gate of the sheep pen. It’s bricked up on the inside. Every 25 years, on the first day of the Holy Year, the Pope strikes the brick wall with a hammer, and so opens the door to the pilgrims.

Vatican Holy Door (‘Porta Sancta’)
Vatican Holy Door (‘Porta Sancta’)

Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. John 10:9 (NLT)

My husband and I are not ones to go to many art shows or museums…but we could not get enough of what Italy had to offer. Each city, town on a hill, village, and even the rural roadside altars had works of art that deeply affected us.

Michelangelo's Pietà
Michelangelo’s Pietà

The most beautiful piece we saw in all of Italy was called the Pietà by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City. This amazing work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary just after the Crucifixion.

I was so moved by its magnificent splendor that tears streamed down my cheeks; the Pietà touched my soul. This photo does not come close to showing you the magnitude of its grandeur.

Do we have hidden Michelangelo’s amongst us today? Do we recognize and appreciate their abilities?

God has blessed each of with a gift or talent. We may not be an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, or engineer of the High Renaissance era…but seek out what God has designed for your life.

God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God Himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NLT)

Although we are not Catholics we are so thankful we had an opportunity to visit the Vatican. As non-denominational Christians, we greatly appreciated the history and beauty of this City. We arrived 2 days after the new Pope had been announced. The great pride our guide had in sharing her experience seeing him for the first time as he walked out onto the balcony was contagious. Her heart was filled with joy and hope for the future of her Church.

My prayer is that all Christians find hope and joy in their faith, bringing Christ’s love to one another. May each of us live the Bible out in our lives.

I hope you enjoy some of the Vatican photos below.

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Blessings, Susan

About Author
Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.Image-1
She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.

To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.

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