June 2, 2010
. Through this hardback book, the Vatican Secret Archives is revealing some of the secrets it’s been keeping for centuries. The book offers 105 documents, that until now were only made available to scholars with special approval. The collection includes documents such as a draft letter Pope Pius XI wrote to Hitler in 1934 in which he speaks of the Church’s pursuit of ‘true peace’. The high-quality reproduction shows pencil marks believed to have been made by the future, Pius XII.
The writings are accompanied by text and photos of the Vatican Archives building.
Then, on page 46, readers can find a papal document condemning and excommunicating Martin Luther.
The diverse collection also includes correspondent with some of the world’s most celebrated artists, like Bernini. The architect of St. Peter’s Basilica, writes to the pope requesting payment for his work at Saint Mary Mayor’s Basilica and the famous Bernini’s Angels that line the bridge at Castle St. Angelo. In all Bernini was requesting more than 8 thousand scudi.
In the year 1550, Michelangelo also wrote a letter requesting payment and saying a long conclave was stalling his work on the basilica’s dome.
That conclave was the one that elected Pius VI. It took more than three months and the official ballot is a part of this collection too.
A collection of that gives readers around the world a taste of what lies inside the walls of the Vatican.