His Eminence Cardinal Azevedo, in the Smaller Court of the Belvedere
( Originally Published 1907 )
We were in the vicinity of this Court when viewing the beautiful Hall of Statues, which is only a short distance away.
Cardinal Azevedo stands in the foreground. Until recently he was the Majordomo of the Vatican, a position of importance to which Monsignore Bisleti was promoted when Monsignore Azevedo was made Cardinal. In his present office His Eminence has the care of the papal palaces and buildings, a position of great importance and responsibility, as anyone can see by recalling their extent and the incalculable value of their contents. He is responsible for the administration and care of the priceless Vatican Library, which is being opened more and more to scholars and students ; also of the famous Gallery of Inscriptions which occupies the east side of the pal-ace and contains hundreds of ancient marbles carved with various inscriptions; and again of the Hall of Statues, together with many smaller departments of art and literature scattered about the palace. Remark the beauty of the court in which he stands, the exquisite fountain, the graceful columns, the tiling of the pavement. The study of it would take a volume by itself; and when we reflect that every inch of this building has high artistic or historical or literary value, it becomes apparent that the Vatican is not a mere palace, or a government office, but rather a treasure-house of human society and human achievement, where men may study the heights attained by human genius. Cardinal Azevedo carries upon his shoulders the safety and preservation of the world's greatest museum.
Our next position is to be in the famous Vatican Garden, where we are to see the Pon-tiff in his hours of ease. Consult Map i once more. Not far from the Court of the Belvedere, in the northwest corner of the Vatican, a door opens directly on the Vialone Belvedere, an avenue running along the entire west wall of the palace. It can easily be seen on the map. From it paths and drives branch out in all directions through the gardens. If we re-call or repeat our outlook over the gardens from Position 9, up above St. Peter's dome, we shall understand exactly where our next standpoint is to be. It is located for us by the figure 29 near the northwest (upper left) corner of Map I. As that map clearly shows, we shall be standing in a wooded part of the garden, looking southwest along a straight path.