The State of Vatican city celebrates its 80th anniversary

Source: FSSPX News


Document sans nom

The State of Vatican City, which Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) had defined as “a small territory for a great mission,” celebrated the 80th anniversary of its creation on February 11th 2009. On January 30th 2009, the events celebrating the anniversary of Vatican City, born of the Lateran Agreements, were presented to the press by Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Vatican Governorate, and by Bishop Renato Boccardo, Secretary General.

The Lateran Agreements were signed on February 11th by Cardinal Pietro Gasparri and the head of the Italian government, Benito Mussolini. This international agreement was composed of three distinct acts: a treaty, a concordat and a financial convention. The same day, in a speech addressed to the priests of Rome, Pius XI had explained that “after have much reflected, meditated and prayed,” he had decided “deliberately” to preserve “just the territory necessary to serve as a basis for sovereignty (…) without which it could not exist.” Pius XI had rejoiced “to see the territorial material reduced to the point that it could and should be considered as being spiritualized in its turn by the immense, sublime, and truly divine spirituality which it is destined to support and to serve.”

From February 12th to May 10th 2009, the rooms of the Charlemagne Wing, in the Place of St. Peter’s, are hosting an exposition entitled “1929-2009, 80th Anniversary of the State of Vatican City.” It includes a monumental model of all of the buildings of the little State, and for the first time the original document signed by Cardinal Pietro Gasparri and Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), conserved in the secret Archives, is exposed to public viewing. Among the numerous memorabilia associated with Pope Pius XI, one of the items of note is the Citroën ‘Lictoria.’ Pius XI was the first to abandon the use of a horse-drawn carriage. He was offered a certain number of Bianchi, Fiat and Citroën vehicles, like the ‘Lictoria’ presently exposed at the Vatican and fitted out with a small throne. It is the ancestor of the ‘popemobile.’

Part of the exposition, consecrated to topography, allows the visitor to understand the town-planning challenges facing the architects during the course of the last 80 years. Thus, the Paul VI Room was build partly in Vatican City territory and partly in Italy. In his plans, Pier Luigi Nervi, director of the project, had nonetheless taken care that the pope’s throne be situated in pontifical territory.

The congress entitled “The State of Vatican City, A Small Territory for a Great Mission,” took place from February 12th to 14th 2009, studying the repercussions on history, politics and international relations after the creation of the new State. Among the speakers was the former director of the Press Bureau of the Holy See, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini. On the first day of the congress, the Orchestra of Irish Radio-Television and of the Choir of the Cathedral of Dublin interpreted the Messiah of Georg Friedrich Haendel, in the Paul VI Room, in the presence of Benedict XVI. (Sources : apic/imedia/VIS)