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Pope Francis

Pope to award 2016 Ratzinger Prize to Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles

October 20, 2016. The winners of this year's Ratzinger Prize will be Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. The former, an Italian priest, is an expert in Systematic Theology and History of Medieval Theology. The latter is Greek and an Orthodox. He is an expert in History of Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology. He will be the first Orthodox to be awarded the prize given by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, considered by many the Nobel Prize of Theology.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Thais after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

October 14, 2016. Pope Francis has sent a message to the Prime Minister of Thailand to express his condolences for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was 88 years old, and his reign spanned seven decades. Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened” and he expresses his closeness to the members of the royal family and the Thai people.
Pope Francis

Pope sends 100,000 dollars for Hurricane Matthew victims

October 14, 2016. Through the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Pope Francis will send $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The money will fund relief efforts in the first stages of recovery after the devastating effects of the hurricane. With this gesture, the pope wants to express his "closeness of spirit and fatherly support” to everyone in the affected area.
Pope Francis

Pope authorizes new decrees of heroic virtues for four potential saints

October 11, 2016. Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues to four people, who are being investigated by the Church for possible sainthood. The decrees were given to the following "Servants of God:”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis rejects death penalty on Twitter: #NoDeathPenalty

October 10, 2016. The Pope has has given his support via Twitter to the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The following message can be read in each of his nine accounts, in their respective languages: "Punishment should necessarily include hope! #NoDeathPenalty.”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis announces Synod about youth and vocation

October 6, 2016. It will be held in 2018 under the name "Youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” Preparations for the second Synod of bishops convened by Pope Francis are well underway.

Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.
Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.

Roman Library: A meeting point for Italian art lovers


Right in the heart of Rome, near the Spanish Steps, is a fairly unknown building described as a true treasure, for Italian art fanatics. Its known as the Zuccari Palace, which is easily recognized by a large mask carved in stone. Its this centerpiece that marks the entrance of the Hertziana Library.

It's named after Henriette Hertz, a 19th century cosmopolitan woman who loved Italian art. She collected and founded a research institute, where she donated a large part of her treasures.

Director, Biblioteca Hertziana

"In her will,  in 1912 she left her library, her collection of photographs and Palazzo Zuccari itself to the 'Kaiser Wilhelm society.'  It was a German research institute that was founded that very year. This is how our own establishment was born in 1913, the year when Henrietta Hertz died.”

The building is on via Gregoriana. It has an older
part with large reading rooms and recently restored fresco ceilings. Also, were the garden once stood, there is now a modern building designed by architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg, which allows the library to preserve 295,000 books on Italian art and more than 800,000 photographs.

The collection of books and pictures was personally assembled by the founder herself and was it grew throughout her life. When she died in 1913, she left over 11,000 photographs.

Director, Biblioteca Hertziana
"During the 1880s, Ludwig Mond and Henriette Hertz decided to start collecting Italian art during their travels through Italy. Each winter, they also traveled to Switzerland, Milan, Venice, Florence and eventually Rome.”

Henrietta Hertz left her collection of paintings to the Italian government. They are now preserved in the Museum of Ancient Art in Rome. But the Library and its iconic headquarters of Palazzo Zuccari, were intended as a gift for art scholars.

Director, Biblioteca Hertziana

"Henriette Hertz was probably in Rome for the first time in 1883. She stayed in a hotel. The same year she bought her first painting and wanted to find a house in Rome. In the winter of 1887 she rented out a few floors of Palazzo Zuccari. In 1904 she eventually bought it, because she wanted to create a research library specialized in Italian art. At the time, there was nothing similar in Rome.”

The fusion between the old Palazzo Zuccari and contemporary architecture creates a perfect meeting point for Italian art scholars from around the world. The Biblioteca Hertziana provides, it all in one place.