Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Vatican to offer special Marian tour of Pope's gardens

Private Gardens of the Pope - Review of Vatican Gardens, Vatican City,  Italy - Tripadvisor

For the month of May, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Vatican Museums are offering a tour of the Pope’s gardens every Wednesday and Saturday dedicated to Marian spirituality.

"The only way to stop war is through forgiveness!" 

The message of the Virgin Mary is both disruptive and clear. Throughout history, she has not failed to indicate to humanity her plan of salvation. At Fatima, for example, appearing to the three shepherd children, she delivered a genuine "peace plan," inviting the world to pray, to return to the Gospel, and to consecrate themselves to her Immaculate Heart. 

Prayer for Peace 

These words are as relevant as ever when considering the state of the world today.  

The Popes have always emphasized the importance and power of prayer for peace. The initiative "May with Mary," which will be offered by the Vatican Museums every Wednesday and Saturday, offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Vatican Gardens by walking through the various Marian images present there. 

Wednesday and Saturday

 "In the Marian month," explains Sister Emanuela Edwards, "on Wednesdays, pilgrims are invited to join us after the papal audience for an exceptional opening of the Gardens in honor of the Madonna. Additionally, on Saturday mornings, traditionally dedicated to Mary, visitors can take advantage of this pilgrimage tour." 

The Queen of Peace

 "May with Mary," continues the nun, "is a visit that includes 10 stops at the most important statues and images of the Madonna. It evokes a decade of the rosary, so in this period when there are many tensions in the world, at each Marian image, we will pray for peace in the world. It is worth remembering that in the gardens, there are 27 different images of the Madonna, so we can rightly say that these are Her gardens. Mary is the "Queen of Peace," and it is right to pray in this way for peace in the world." 

The Pope’s Prayer 

The Marian images featured in the "May with Mary" tour are linked to the devotion of the peoples who have turned to the Virgin in times of war to invoke peace. Regarding the Madonna of Fatima and the conflict in Ukraine, Sister Emanuela recalls: "Pope Francis followed the Fatima appeal by consecrating the cause of peace to the Queen of Peace. During our visit, we recite this same prayer in front of the statue of the Madonna of Fatima, in communion with the intentions of the Holy Father."

Mercy: The way to lasting peace 

Walking through the Vatican Gardens, we encounter another example of Marian intercession for peace: the Madonna of Mercy, created by Renata Minuto at the entrance of the Chalet of Leo XIII. 

"The Madonna," recalls the head of the Educational Activities Office of the Vatican Museums, "appeared to the peasant Antonio Botta in 1536. At that time, Savona was using all its forces in a war against the Republic of Genoa. Mary appeared to invite both parties to peace, urging them to use mercy and not justice, thus putting an end to the conflict. 

Appearing as Our Lady of Mercy, our Mother teaches us how to have lasting peace. This is what she wants us to remember today in our world torn by war. The only way to stop war is through forgiveness!" 

The spirituality of the Vatican Gardens 

Nature, fountains, ancient artifacts, statues of the Virgin and saints contribute what can be defined as the "spirituality of the Vatican Gardens," a refuge of prayer and contemplation appreciated and lived by the Successor of Peter. 

"In this beautiful place, the Popes, such as John Paul II and Benedict XVI, used to take a daily walk as a moment of rest and prayer. Even Pope Francis, like his predecessors, adorned the Gardens with a statue of the Virgin of Luján, made from recycled materials to remind us that nothing is lost, nothing is discarded, but everything has meaning within the magnificent work of God. We can say that, in a sense, the garden also reflects the teachings of the Popes, and this also leaves us with an important message." 

The Vatican Gardens 

Click here to make a reservation join one of these May tours.

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