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Rome Reports

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Museum conserves relics of 16 popes, from Pio VII to Pope Francis

This small museum just feet from the Vatican known as the “Museum of the Popes” conserves unmodified relics of 16 pontiffs, from Pio VII to Pope Francis. 

Documents signed by Pio VII, John XXIII's personal photos, Pio XI's watch... they're all painstakingly safeguarded.

Director, “Museum of the Popes”
“I think telling history through objects is a direct way of communicating proximity between pontiffs and the faithful. This is also shown through unedited manuscripts.”

Ivan Marsura found his passion while a seminarian at age 14. Since then, he has been collecting piece after piece thanks to donations from the Vatican, the Society of Jesus or papal relatives. 

Director, “Museum of the Popes”
“At the time of Pope Benedict's resignation, we received a package from the Vatican from the Holy Father's private sacristy, certified by the papal secretary, in which he sent the last robe worn by Benedict.”

Among these relics is Pio XII's pen, John Paul II's chalice and Benedict XVI's mitre...

The museum is located at Borgo Vittorio, 88, admission is free, and it's open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Director, “Museum of the Popes”
“There are unmodified things that have never been displayed until today. We've collected nearly 450 papal objects, 700 autographs and papal documents, 12,000 books and 17,000 photos relating to Church history.”

Ivan's dream is converting his small treasure into a great museum where everyone can get to know the popes in a truly unique way.