A pope arrives bearing gifts

May 13, 2009

What kind of gift does a pope give when he visits the Holy Land? This morning, the Holy See Press Office distributed a few pictures of presents Pope Benedict has brought along. Take a look:


Mosaic of the Birth of Christ

This mosaic is a copy of part of the 13th-century mosaics in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. It was produced by the Vatican Mosaic Studio in 2000. The pope was due to hand it over to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Bethlehem on Wednesday.

pope-manuscript-1Copy of 14th-century Ashkenazi prayerbook page

This is a copy of a page for the holy day of Yom Kippur. The original book from 1375 once belonged to Queen Christiana of Sweden, whose library was bought in 1690 — one year after her death — by Pope Alexander VIII. The pope presented this to Israel’s two chief rabbis on Tuesday










Koranic fragment in hejazi script

Parchment half-folio from a very early Koranic manuscript in hejazi script dating from shortly after the year 650. The only original among the gifts, it came from a collection of 85 Koranic manuscripts donated to the Vatican Library by an Italian bibliophile in 1946. The fragment shows part of Sura XI.


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Posted by Pseudo-Polymath » Blog Archive » Wednesday Highlights | Report as abusive

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Posted by Stones Cry Out – If they keep silent… » Things Heard: e67v3 | Report as abusive

You state: “This is a copy of a page for the feast of Yom Kippur.”

Yom Kippur, also known in English as the Day of Atonement, is the most solemn and important of the Jewish holidays. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

The word “feast” is incorrect.

Religion and State in Israel
http://religionandstateinisrael.blogspot .com/

Posted by Joel Katz | Report as abusive

Joel Katz, thanks for your comment. The phrase was taken from the explanation provided by the Vatican. We have corrected it.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Well, just for clarity’s sake, when a Catholic (and thus the Vatican) uses the word ”feast” in such a context he is referring to a Holy Day that is a solemn commemoration of some event of mystery of faith. To wit, Good Friday is a feast of grief.

Posted by k3vin | Report as abusive