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Vatican Film Library celebrates 50 years

Pope John XXIII inaguarated the library November 16, 1959. Since then, it’s preserved and collected films on the popes and the life of the Church. It also collects films and documentaries on religious values and of high artistic quality.

Arch. Claudio Maria CelliPresident, Pontifical Council on Social Communications"We have the very first images of a pope on film. They are of Pope Leon XIII. The films are very brief, but they are the first ones documented of a Pontificate.”

The images of Leon XIII were taken to silence rumors of the pope’s deteriorating health.

The library has about 7 thousand titles, which includes films such as ‘Ben Hur’, Dante’s ‘The Inferno’ and ‘War on War’ a documentary released in 1948 on Pope Pius XII during World War II.

That film, which was discovered in Italy’s Film Library, has been restored thanks to the help of the Vatican.

Arch. Claudio Maria CelliPresident, Pontifical Council on Social Communications“We’re thinking of doing a special screening at the Vatican so this film can be more widely appreciated. It’s a great testament of what Pope Pius XII did during the war, and it shows the pope’s strong assertion: no more wars, because wars never make progress for humanity.”

The Vatican Film Library has a laboratory to regenerate damaged films and a professional theatre that can sit 50 people. The one place at the Vatican where you can enjoy art on the big screen.

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