Vatican to unveil a series of relics from the first century
Vatican officials have unveiled plans for a series to mark the first hundred years of the church.
The pontiff will unveil a collection of relics, such as coins and papal documents, and a statue of Saint Joseph, which is expected to be unveiled next month.
Francis said on Tuesday he had always been a “specialist in sacred objects”, and he was “familiar with the history of the ancient city of Rome and the importance of the relics that have been preserved there”.
In the coming weeks, the Vatican will also unveil a mosaic of the Vatican’s ancient church that dates back to the sixth century, including a section of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which Pope John Paul II restored in 1981.
The Pope also has plans to dedicate a collection from the year of the Apostles to the Holy Land, in what he said would be a “pioneering event”.
The announcement of the new relics was made during a special Mass, during which the faithful will be offered an opportunity to “receive from the sacred places and the relics of the first centuries of the Church a blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ”.
“I ask you, the faithful, to be generous to the holy places of the Catholic Church, to make use of them, to use them to the greatest advantage, and to make a gift of yourself to them, in which you are truly happy,” the Pope said.
The Vatican said it planned to invest 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in the project, which it said would begin in 2019.
It has also promised to create a fund for the development of the Holy Places.
Pope Francis will unveil the new collection of the pontiff’s pontifical library in a ceremony on December 10, 2018.