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Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

A second Sistine Chapel in Rome? The hidden treasures of St. Mary Major



Art Restorer 
"The Pope intervened with the decoration. He called for everything that was white or black, to be changed to a golden color. Things were made simpler with this change. Back then it was something done when improvements were needed.” 

Now those who come and visit the Basilica, can admire what was actually hidden behind in its very walls. More than 25,000 square feet that show a painting technique that combines light and dark shades. 

Art Restorer 
"In the last 150 years, we have mostly tempera paintings. Almost the entire surface, almost 70 percent is covered with colors that were added in the 1800's. This process was quite common, but in this case it was more of a re-elaboration.” 

The restoration is led by the director of the Vatican Museums. In fact, in the last five years, the process has involved more than ten specialists. At first, the frescoes were analyzed in the lab to identify its original source. Experts say the result is truly a visual treat. 

Art Restorer 
"What we see now, so this blue and yellow tone and this historical lighting was changed. So it was followed by other green, yellow and red tones. The walls were completely covered by another type of red, which had made the fresco lose its unique shine.” 

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major is a historical relic from the 5th century. It's the only one, out of Rome's four Papal basilicas that still has its original Paleo-Christian floor plan. With its stunning mosaics and impressive proportions, it has truly survived the test of time, making it a true testimony of sacred art in Rome.