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Bringing St Joseph to a Place of Prayer
VATICAN CITY STATE (HOLY SEE) | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Patrons of the Arts helped fundraise to bring the St Joseph’s fountain to the Vatican Gardens.

pope and cardinal lajolo
The Holy Father stands next to Cardinal Lajolo during his address at the new fountain.

July 18, 2010. Vatican City. This past July 5, a new fountain made its official debut in the Vatican Gardens, thanks in part to the fundraising efforts of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, an organization headed up by Fr Mark Haydu, LC.

The St Joseph fountain was the initiative of Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, who had the idea when he realized there was nothing dedicated to St Joseph’s honor in the Vatican City State. At around the same time, he received a report on the situation of the fountains in the gardens tallying the number of fountains at 99.

“It was then that he thought it would be a fitting way to honor St Joseph, offer a nice gesture to Pope Benedict, whose baptismal name is Joseph, and bring the number of fountains to 100,” observed Fr Mark Haydu, LC.

The Patrons of the Arts supported the project by contacting several lay people, including Mr. and Mrs. Michael Hinzte
st joseph fountain
A frontal view of the new St Joseph's fountain, the 100th to grace the Vatican Gardens.
and Mr. Bob Castrignano, for the project’s financial backing. Together with Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the Patrons office also worked out the various artistic phases of the project, from the first drawings to the choosing of the artist for the fountain’s decorative side panels to the final inauguration, at which the Holy Father presided. The Technical Services office of the Vatican City handled the fountain’s final design and construction.

The final design features six bronze panels illustrating scenes from St Joseph’s life, while stone walls behind the fountain’s two basins depict the wedding of Mary and Joseph, St Joseph’s dream in which an angel explains Christ’s conception, the Nativity, the flight into Egypt, the finding in the temple, and Jesus and Joseph working together as carpenters. A Latin engraving on the side offers the fountain "in honor of the husband of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Guardian of the Holy Family, protector of the Universal Church and Patron of Workers." The commemorative message also mentions that Joseph Benedict XVI’s patron saint given at his baptism.

Noting that the Holy Father uses the
pope and fr mark haydu
Pope Benedict greets Fr Mark Haydu, LC, at the inauguration ceremony.
Vatican gardens as a place to pray, Fr Mark Haydu said, “This fountain is a small way we can give the Holy Father a beautiful place to reflect. No doubt the weight of his mission also requires moments when he can be in peaceful contact with the Father in a setting that fosters prayer.”

At the fountain’s inauguration, the Holy Father gave a brief address expressing his thanks to those who organized the project and reflecting on the imagery in the panels and walls.

He concluded, saying, “Dear brothers and sisters, this beautiful fountain dedicated to St Joseph is a symbolic reference to the values of simplicity and humility in doing God´s Will daily, which marked the silent but precious life of the Custodian of the Redeemer. I entrust to his intercession the future of the Church and of the world. Together with the Virgin Mary, his spouse, may he always guide us on our journey, so that we may be joyful instruments of peace and salvation.”

A video of the event is available here.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2010-07-19


 
 

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