A year and a half ago yours truly made it into this off-limits room off the Sistine Chapel and took some pics. Photos of this room do not exist. There are some old black and white photos in orbit taken just before conclave '58 and '63 (when the walls were covered in rich crimson damask).
In the Sistine Chapel after the newly elected pope weeps and accepts his election he states his new name and then enters this small room off the chapel to rest alone on this couch seen here. He then changes into one of three papal soutanes: a small, medium or large.
The bottom photo reveals the never before seen papal toilette. The bottom drawer/sliding box pulls out to reveal a fine translucent ware basin of porcelain. It has likely not been used in decades, but is a nice piece of history and is still kept in this spot today.
A cell phone and a pack of smokes on the papal toilette. Now that brings it all down to earth!ReplyDelete
Absolutely wonderful to see images of this room. Two (possibly apocryphal) additions to papal-election lore concerning this room: there is allegedly always two additional papal soutanes in the size of the two favourite candidates; there is a bottle of Pellegrino marsala at hand for the newly elected pope to take a glass of Sicilian courage while vesting . . .ReplyDelete
Is that a pack of smokes on top of the toilet?ReplyDelete
Looks pathetic compared to the old black and white photos. I could see Bugnini whispering in the ear of Paul VI to rip out the wall paper and dumb it down because the election of the Pope is not a big deal and he is just another bishop among equals.ReplyDelete
"There are some old black and white photos in orbit taken just before conclave '58 and '63 (when the walls were covered in rich crimson damask)."ReplyDelete
That must have been magnificent. Now it looks like a bathroom.
To "dumb it down", is equal to saying to "Vatican Two it." The Mass was "Vatican Two'd.
So was this room.
When did you go? This pic from National Geographic looks like the damask was up as late as 2002...ReplyDelete
What is that short jacket over the papal soutane in the National Geographic picture? I've never seen a Pope wearing anything like this.ReplyDelete
Even some post-V2 films retained the red damask wallpaper in post-conclave filmography. "SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN" depict the Room of tears in read, albeit smaller-looking and definitely without the telephones.ReplyDelete
As a loyal Catholic and a fiction writer, I am writing a positive novel about the Vatican. I need to know one little detail. Where, in relation to the Sistine Chapel, is the Room of Tears? I read once that there was a secret room where Renaissance popes would participate in the Mass without having to be the celebrant. Apparently, Michelangelo painted the face of Christ so that the eyes would look directly at the peephole where the Pope watched the Mass. Is the Room of Tears the same room?ReplyDelete
I read once that it was through the door on the left side... if you are looking at the Michelangelo fresco the "Last Jugment" in the Sixtine Chapel... going to a sacristy adjascent to the "Room of Tears"ReplyDelete
True story, I was in the Room of Tears during a personal pilgrimage quite a while ago. It was a Saturday in August, JPII was at the Castle, hot not many tourists, quite. (I happen to speak Italian). I ran into an old janitor and began to speak with him. He took me on a personal tour up a lift to walk around the dome inside, then he took me through the Great Rooms, the place was virtually empty. I do not recall how,but we wound up in the Sistine Chapel, but at the back of it. He told me to go through the door, not to touch anything, and exit at the other end. No one was there! I walked in and on cats feet and in awe walked to my left looked at the Pope's altar, saw a little doorway in the corner, it was open, and I walked in, not far, and got goosse bumps. I did not know about the Tears thing, but knew enough this must be like the pope's sacristy. True story. I turned and looked around and left through the big doors and continued my tour alone. Awesome.ReplyDelete
I was there this summer and the Papal Potty is still there! What a wonderful expereince, expecially with the forthcoming Conclave!ReplyDelete