The exposition “Lux in Arcana” unveils some of the secret Vatican Archives

Source: FSSPX News

To mark the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the secret Archives of the Vatican, a unique exposition entitled Lux in Arcana (a light on the secrets) opened its doors on February 29 at the Capitol Museum in Rome.  It allows the visitor to discover for the first time around a hundred exceptional articles—parchments, registers, manuscripts and codices—that will be on display until September 9, 2012.  From the eighth century, in the case of the most ancient item, from China and the Incan Empire, in the case of the most distant countries, Lux in Arcana retraces, through these archives, not only the history of the papacy, but also the history of Europe and the world.  Besides presenting the documents, the exposition sets out to show and to explain how the papal archives function—a library with no less than 85 kilometers of shelving.

Explanatory labels in Italian and English help the visitors to understand better the items on display, to know who composed the document, and thus it becomes evident that some authors are outstanding historical personages.  Among the artifacts presented one will be able to admire the Dictatus Papae by Gregory VII, the bull deposing the Emperor Frederick II, the letter from the members of the English Parliament to Pope Clement VII about the request for an annulment of marriage for Henry VIII, the bull excommunicating Martin Luther, the lawsuit of Philip the Fair against the Knights Templar, a letter from Bernadette Soubirous to Pius IX….

The documents on display are only a sample of what is contained in the Archives, for it requires great care to transport them:  most of them are very fragile and need high climate control standards, and even moving them can affect their conservation. (Sources : radiovatican/luxinarcana/VIS – DICI no.252 dated March 30, 2012)