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Dear Friends, good morning
I am pleased to greet the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums on the occasion of this pilgrimage to Rome marking your thirtieth anniversary of foundation. Over the past three decades the Patrons have made an outstanding contribution to the restoration of numerous treasures of art preserved in the Vatican collections and to the broader religious, artistic and cultural mission of the Museums. For this I thank you most heartily.
The establishment of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums was inspired not only by a praiseworthy sense of stewardship for the Church’s heritage of sacred art, but also by the desire to advance the spiritual and religious ideals which led to the foundation of the papal collections. In every age the Church has called upon the arts to give expression to the beauty of her faith and to proclaim the Gospel message of the grandeur of God’s creation, the dignity of human beings made in his image and likeness, and the power of Christ’s death and resurrection to bring redemption and rebirth to a world touched by the tragedy of sin and death.
The Vatican Museums, with their unique and rich history, make it possible for countless pilgrims and visitors to Rome to encounter this message through works of art which bear witness to the spiritual aspirations of humanity, the sublime mysteries of the Christian faith, and the quest of that supreme beauty which has its source and fulfillment in God.
Dear friends, may your patronage of the arts in the Vatican Museums always be a sign of your interior participation in the spiritual life and mission of the Church. May it also be an expression of our hope in the coming of that Kingdom whose beauty, harmony and peace are the expectation of every human heart and the inspiration of mankind’s highest artistic aspirations. To you, your families and associates, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of enduring joy and peace in the Lord.