Last week my mother and I had the unique opportunity to witness up close an amazing art exhibit entitled Vatican Splendors. Since late September, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) (only one of three exhibits in the US) has on display a massive treasure of Vatican art and artifacts. Truly inspirational and captivating!
Here’s my recommendation. Take a road trip to St. Paul and visit the Historical Society and the Cathedral of St. Paul… home to 800,000 Catholics in the Twin Cities. For a delicious downtown Italian meal visit the Trattoria Da Vinci and try their yummy pasta! Finally, catch a Minnesota Wild hockey game at the Excel Center. They have several home games in January including exciting match-ups with both Edmonton and Anaheim.
Due to popular prayer, Vatican officials extended the exhibit in Minnesota so don’t wait too long. The curtain closes on January 19th and it’s likely that an opportunity like this won’t be available for some time, if ever again. The tour takes about 1 ½-2 hours depending on the crowds. It’s worth purchasing the headphones to hear selected audio descriptions on the origins and stories behind the objects on display. Plus, having the headphones on kind of blocks out all the distracting conversations that typically occur during a guided tour like this.
For a free download message from the audio tour go this link.
Press Release Short:
Approximately 200 objects will be presented in galleries and recreated environments that enhance the visitor’s understanding of their historical and artistic significance. Items in the collection – which include tiaras; mosaics; paintings; works by well-known sculptors; papal rings and jewels; intricately embroidered silk vestments; precious objects from the Papal Mass; armor, swords and uniforms of the Papal Swiss Guard; and gifts to the popes from such notable figures as Napoleon and the Dalai Lama – are on loan from the Vatican Museums, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, the Apostolic Floreria, private collections and the Papal Swiss Guard.
"The art and artifacts in this exhibit are doubly precious – because of their deep religious significance and because of their beauty and rich cultural heritage," says Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
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