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An Evening Under The Stars
You need to sleep now. But when the bright golden butter-cups have faded along the dusty roadside of the Milky Way, come back, and I will tell you why the sun, moon and stars seem to move across the sky. (Read More...)
Days, Nights And Seasons
Now, my little companions, you know why the days, nights and seasons visit our home, and tomorrow I will tell you how they help to cover our valley with life. (Read More...)
Plant Life In The Valley
Hillsides and valleys, water and wooded soil, fertile slopes and sandy fields, — all are parts of one beautiful whole, and that is our valley home. (Read More...)
Animals That Live By The Brookside
So I should. If I had a woodpecker's bill, I ought to have every other part of its body. I should need its stiff tail-feathers to brace against the trunks; its sharp, strong bill to peck the bark; its long, barbed tongue to drag the worms from their deep hiding-places ; and, above all, its appetite for such food. (Read More...)
Raindrops Go Home To Old Ocean
TODAY we must tell you the last story. When the evening shadows creep into our valley, other raindrops will fill the brook-bed, but we shall be home in the sea. (Read More...)
How To Make The Pilgrimage To St. Peter's
Millions of men and women have made a pilgrimage to St. Peter's and the home of the Holy Father. Millions more have longed all their lives to see these famous places, but never reached the fulfilment of their dreams. For centuries it was an impossibility for most people to look upon these places, made sacred by the memory and presence of holy men. It is now no longer an impossibility. (Read More...)
A Visit To The Pope
Pius X is the latest of that long line of Popes which reaches back to the reign of the Emperor Nero. Previous to the year 1903 he had been the Cardinal Patriarch of Venice, one of the best-known and best-loved bishops of Italy, the friend of the poor, the peacemaker, the faithful pastor. (Read More...)
St. Peter's And The Vatican - Greatest of Churches and Greatest of Palaces
The present basilica holds easily fifty thousand people and could hold thirty thousand more. Up to the beginning of the eighteenth century it had cost fifty million dollars. These are minor details which only help to the proper impression of the temple. (Read More...)
Majestic Portico of St. Peter's
From this position directly in front of the south end of the facade, our eyes can take in with a single glance, but not grasp, its immensity. As we approach the steps they have become enormous; the doors yawn like caverns; the height of the frieze seems to lengthen. As a matter of fact this facade is three hundred and sixty-five feet high, and its eight pillars are sixty-six feet. (Read More...)
The Altar and its Baldacchino Ninety-Five Feet High
In Catholic churches the altar is ever the central point of interest, because of its connection with the cardinal rite of the Church, the Mass. It is therefore the very source of all architectural glory and the splendor of ritual, and the inspiration of church music and ecclesiastical decoration. (Read More...)
The Famous Statue of St. Peter
Catholics see in St. Peter not merely the first Pope, the founder of a long dynasty of kings, but also the Rock upon which Christ laid the foundation of the Church. Up around the inside of the great dome far above our heads are the striking words of the Saviour, fixed in gigantic letters of gold : Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meant et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum. (Read More...)
St. Peter's Tomb Under the High Altar
The floor of the crypt down there before us is marble, the same which was used in the crypt of the ancient church; for the effort is always to keep this tomb as it has been for centuries. The Confession, as this place is called, was constructed by the noted architect Maderna, at the command of Pope Paul V. The gilt bronze doors, near which the altar boy is seen, are an ancient work of art. (Read More...)
The Pieta of Michelangelo
The walls of the chapel in which we stand are faced with slabs of colored marble, taken from the earlier church which stood on this spot. The usual altar is here with its crucifix and candelabra of bronze, the Pietà being fixed in majesty on its pedestal over the altar. (Read More...)
Rome the Eternal City, From the Dome of St. Peter's
The gigantic statues on the top of the facade are now in full view ; the Piazza with its wonderful features lies before us as the map promised; the little piazza at the end of the colonnades empties into two narrow streets whose lines carry our eyes towards the yellow Tiber in the distance. There lies Rome spread out before us! (Read More...)
The Great Pontifical Palace and the Vatican
This is not our first glimpse of the present residence of the Pope. When we stood at Position 1 on the roof of a house, looking at the Basilica, the Piazza and the colonnade, we caught sight of a building at the north which at that moment did not seem to be of consequence. Its rather modest front did not hint of its real splendor. (Read More...)
The Gardens of the Vatican
The avenues which cross and recross the garden are lined with orange-trees cut into hedges, in which golden fruit and alabaster blossoms give animation to the lovely foliage. Ancient olive trees give an air of solemnity and dignity to some spots; old tombs are set here and there; little summer-houses enliven one scene, gardeners' cottages with tiled roofs another. (Read More...)
The Vatican Palace - Residence of the Popes
Between the fountain and the obelisk rises that part of the Vatican in which the Pope and many of the officials of the Church reside. The apartments of the Pope are in the story next to the top, and take up the whole floor. The Pope has his desk not far from the sixth window in the second floor, counting from the left. (Read More...)
The Vatican Palace of His Holiness
At the end of the corridor before us is a stairway called the Scala Regia. It leads to the Sala Regia, a grand hall of reception. At the far end of it a turn to the left brings one into the Sistine Chapel, the choicest and most noted building in the Vatican group. Not even St. Peter's itself surpasses in interest this scene of Michelangelo's labors. (Read More...)
The Sistine Chapel Where the Popes Are Crowned
This chapel is thus named because it was erected in 1473 by Pope Sixtus IV. Its six windows, three of which you can see, are over the frieze, and the walls are decorated with paintings by the most famous masters. The building is fifty feet wide and one hundred and thirty-three feet long. At the far end is a modest altar, with four steps ; to the right of it is a platform upon which is a chair, reserved for the Pope. (Read More...)
Grand Corridor of the Vatican Library, the Longest Room in the World
Observe the beautiful pillars set at intervals down this corridor, their surfaces polished as brightly as if each was a jewel to be set in a crown. Hundreds of these pillars were taken by old builders from the ruins of pagan Rome, and would have been lost to us altogether but for this artistic plunder. (Read More...)
The Library of the Vatican
This is one of the most magnificent halls of the palace, two hundred and twenty feet long, forty feet wide and twenty feet high. Down the middle of the hall the map shows six massive pillars which support the vaulted ceilings and form a double aisle; those pillars we see now ahead at the right. Every available space is splendidly decorated with frescoes; the cabinets which line these walls and surround the pillars are made of the richest and rarest woods. (Read More...)
The Gallery of Statues
The Popes did their utmost to make the room worthy of its beautiful contents. This floor of marble mosaic is so perfectly finished that it reflects the pillar and statue on the left of that distant doorway. What skill and patience were put into that work alone! Thousands of fragments of different colored marbles had to be cemented together with tremendous pains to make one continuous surface. (Read More...)
The Chair-Bearers of the Pope
This Sala Ducale is a gorgeous chamber, where the chair-bearers await His Holiness. We can see what a splendid hall this is from the single decoration of the arch above the solemn gentlemen in red velvet who have the honor of serving the Pope in this capacity. Cherubs disport along that beautiful frieze with the abandon of life. (Read More...)
The Holy Father Speaks in the Court of San Damaso
What a charming scene greets our eyes! A crowd of people fill the space in front of a decorated platform prepared for the Pope and his retinue. The Noble Guards stand about the throne, ecclesiastics and nobles are at each side, and the Pope in his white skull-cap speaks to all with simplicity and fervor. (Read More...)
The Pope's Noble Guards, on Duty in a Beautiful Loggia
A loggia in Italy is a balcony under the main roof of a building. In the present instance the loggia has long been enclosed with glass so as to give it the character of an apartment or corridor rather than of a balcony. The Noble Guards on duty have assembled here to await the next call for service, and consequently we have a fine opportunity to study them at close view. (Read More...)
Monsignore Bisleti, Master of the Chamber
The title which he bears indicates his rank, that of a Roman prelate, a member of the papal household. His office is indicated by the second title, which indicates that he has charge of all audiences given by the Pope. The rank of domestic prelate to the Pope has become a mark of honor, conferred upon distinguished churchmen all over the world, although they have no official connection with the Vatican. (Read More...)
Cardinal Merry del Val, Papal Secretary of State
The office of His Eminence is precisely like that held by the Secretary of State in America, being the first place in the papal cabinet or ministry, and concerned chiefly with foreign affairs. It gives the holder of the office a peculiar distinction in church circles, removing him as it were beyond the reach of ordinary criticism, as his acts are considered the acts of the Pontiff himself. (Read More...)
Stately Throne of Pope Pius X
The throne before us now is known as the Throne of the Fisherman, because the first occupant of the See of Peter, as Rome is familiarly known, was once the humble fisherman of Galilee; and the seal of the reigning Pontiff's ring bears an inscription to the same effect. (Read More...)
The Pope's Private Chapel
The room in which we now stand is of the same character as the throne-room; the floor of many-colored marbles, the tapestried walls, the frescoed space near the ceiling, and the artistic furniture, are general features of both rooms. (Read More...)
Private Study Where Pope Pius X Reads and Writes
The windows of this study look south over St. Peter's square, but in the position which we now occupy we are looking east towards the city. The privilege of entering this room is not often accorded to any but the highest dignitaries and certain members of the household. In old times the etiquette which hedged in the Pope was a barrier that even a monarch had to respect. (Read More...)
The Holy Father Blessing Humble Pilgrims
Along the walls of the loggia the pilgrims are kneeling in a long line where they have been placed by the attendants. They are Hungarians, a people of the liveliest and most passionate faith in religion. They have made a long journey to see the Head of the Church and to express their devotion to him. (Read More...)
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