VATICAN CITY, APRIL 7, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A three-volume publishing project is inviting readers into the beauty of the Vatican Gardens through illustrations and photographs.
Volume 1 of “Le cento Fontane (99+1) del Vaticano” (The One Hundred Fountains (99+1) of the Vatican) was presented Wednesday at the Vatican Museums by Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governatorate of Vatican City State.
The 308-page work was edited by the director of the Department of Technical Services, Pier Carlo Cuscianna.
The project was inspired by last July’s inauguration of the 100th fountain on Vatican City territory, which is dedicated to Benedict XVI’s namesake, St. Joseph.
In fact, all three volumes of “Le cento Fontane (99+1) del Vaticano” will present this 100th fountain. The volume presented today considered its planning stage, while the subsequent two will look at the production process and the inauguration.
Volume 1 is subtitled “Fontane nei Viali e nel Bosco” (Fountains Along the Paths and in the Woods) and it covers 30 fountains.
The second will look at “Fountains in the Palaces and Monuments” and the third, “Fountains in the Squares and Gardens.”
Cardinal Lajolo noted how the first volume is dedicated to Benedict XVI and explains that the “Lord satiates the Christian people with the ‘water of Wisdom.'”
“To say water is to say life,” the cardinal reflected, “because in sacred Scriptures, both in the Old as well as in the New Testament, water is the symbol not only of life but also of eternal life.”
He reflected that with last year’s inauguration of the 100th fountain, the number of Vatican fountains has reached a symbolic number of plenitude.
After the presentation, Cardinal Lajolo went on to reflect about the role of beauty in the life of man.
“[B]eauty is nothing other than the splendor of the truth,” he said. “The nature of our rational conception but also our faith is expression of the One who created it. From a stone, from the most discreet element to the summit of creation which is man, all is a reflection of divine beauty.”
He said that man today might have different sensitivities than man 1,000 years ago, but “in man’s essence is love of truth and beauty.”
“All men love truth,” he said, and added the example: “one might not even be prepared to say it, but one wants everyone to tell the truth.”