Cool stuff in the mail

Today I received two issues of the newsletter of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, put out for years by the Reverenda Fabbrica di San Pietro… che non finisce mai, by the way.  I have every issue ever issued… which may be unique in North America.  I subscribed when I was working the curia, got the back issues, and have maintained it every since no matter where I was.

The newsletter shows what work projects are going on, new additions, ancient things discovered, who did what, where and when, etc.

These are the January and February issues of volume 25.


I took notice of the restoration of an image of Mary, Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae, since my friend the estimable Fr. Pasley has the charge of that great parish in New Jersey.


And article about the “translation” of the mortal remains of Pope Julius II back in 1926 for the 500th anniversary of his death.


The newsletter usually includes explanations of some ancient image in the excavations beneath the basilica.


This is just a cool thing from my day I thought I would share with you.

In the meantime, Cardinal Ray helps himself to the feeder and poses for the webcam:


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Bea says:

    That was most interesting.
    No wonder you have such a faithful subscription to these editions.

  2. Laura98 says:

    Love to see art restorations (when they are done right!!). Such tedious, yet amazing work!. Cardinal Ray is adorable! :)

  3. O. Possum says:

    So what did the weird pineapple thing mean? Do they just find this stuff, take a picture of it, and then paint over it? Lol

  4. Joan A. says:

    When my day is sinking into the dull doldrums, I pop over here to Fr. Z’s blog and usually get a unique and pleasant surprise! That restoration is amazing, and what a pretty face on ‘Mater Ecclesiae’. Thanks.

  5. jkm210 says:

    I get the Vatican Library newsletter. It’s great! Especially the part where they tell you the names of all of the babies who have been born to the librarians since the last newsletter. It comes out 3-4 times a year by email, and you can sign up going to the Vatican Library homepage and registering in the “Private Area.”

  6. O Possum asks, “So what did the weird pineapple thing mean? ”
    wondered that too. Fr Z?

  7. jameeka says:

    Pope Julius II sounds like interesting character…
    what does crossed flutes, closed roses, mesh, ashes, refer to?

  8. Lucas Whittaker says:

    [From the Italian:] Grave E “of Aeli” west wall – north side niche for cinerary urns with the depiction of a rose petal closed by two crossed flutes.

    Interesting. Also: That is an interesting collection of newsletters that you have. It must be fun to go back through the collection once in a while.

  9. jcr says:

    It is interesting to note that the restoration of the image “Mater Ecclesiae” has removed the crowns from Jesus and Mary. I’m sure this was done because the crowns weren’t original, but not everything done in the course of time is a defacement.

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If you’re an ancient Roman and you want to scatter rose petals at your party, presumably that’s the kind of net bag you carry the petals in. Flutes are also party stuff.

  11. Liz says:

    We were able to meet that nice Fr. Pasley a few weeks ago when he was in town for the diaconate ordination of one his parishioners. My sons really enjoyed serving with him and I really enjoyed talking with him afterwards. What a great priest! It was my one son’s first time being MC at a Solemn High Mass and I think Fr. Pasley put him at ease.

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