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Rome Reports

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Personal objects from Benedict XVI's priesthood on display in Rome

70 years after Pope Benedict XVI's ordination into priesthood, the Arte Poli gallery in collaboration with the Museum of the Popes is launching an exhibit dedicated to recounting the priestly life of the Pope Emeritus. 

His longtime personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, says the Pope Emeritus' ordination is a moment that continues to guide his daily life. 

Pope Benedict XVI's Secretary
“The day of his ordination is still a reminder to him of the gift of the priesthood and also a reminder of his commitment to live more faithfully to that which he promised when he was ordained a priest.”

The exhibit features personal mementos from Benedict XVI's life, as well as items from his eight-year pontificate, like the garments he wore during his historic resignation from the papacy. 

Director, Galleria Arte Poli
“We have the original copy of a hand-written speech which is the introduction to Jesus of Nazareth, one of Pope Benedict's most important works. Another particular item is a photograph signed by both popes, that is Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, a unique piece of this exhibit.”

Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest in 1951. Now, 70 years later, these objects tell the story of the young German priest who became an academic force in the Church, and eventually, pope. 

Pope Benedict XVI's Secretary
“The objects are from his first communion to a chasuble that he still uses today".

In this whole arc of time, his life is one which has the priesthood at its center, and these objects show those who come to see them that his life, like all lives, is made of many important moments that remain important to him.” 

A portrait of Pope Benedict XVI was also unveiled at the exhibit's opening, featuring significant symbols from his life and papacy.

The exhibit transports visitors to the most intimate moments of a pope who will be remembered as one of the Church's greatest theologians. It is now open just outside of the Vatican through December 22.