Friday, August 6, 2010

The Statues of St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Square has been the place for many important moments in the history. Councils, conclaves and white smoke have written the last centuries of the Church's history with the same scene: St. Peter's Square.

Since 1667 when Bernini completed Pope Alejandro VII's assignment to construct a place to bring Catholics and non-Catholics together, St. Peter's Square has become a quintessential benchmark for the world.

It is also an authentic masterwork of architecture, its structure sends a message.

Card. Angelo Comastri
“The colonnades aim to be a plastic image of the Church. The Church open to the world, the Catholic Church that opens to take in all, especially believers to confirm them in the faith through the charism of St. Peter.”

All 365 days of the year St. Peter's Square is full of martyrs, popes, theologians and doctors of the Church. They are 140 statues that are found on top of 284 columns that surround the plaza. Like St. Thecla, virgin and martyr, St. Celestine V, pope, and St. Francis of Assisi. In this masterpiece nothing is random.

Card. Angelo Comastri
“The saints that are on top of the columns spread the Christian ideal of the saint. Because the saint is the person who lives the love of God.”

But in addition to these 140 saints situated on the columns, in the basilica the parade of statues continues. And the masterpiece of Bernini did not finish four centuries ago. Yet today they continue putting up statues of saints, now in the exterior part of the basilica.

Card. Angelo Comastri
“Inside there are no more niches to put up statues and thanks to God there continue being several new saints. John Paul II decided to hang up statues of founding saints in the exterior. The first ones were St. Bridget and St. Catalina of Siena. Also several spaces in the exterior have been filled. The latest to be put will be St. Mark, founder of the Maronites.”

More than 200 statues in the whole Vatican that are not there just for decoration, but to remember the example of the lives of these saints, who saw the history of the Church and humanity, from a privileged place.

No comments: