Tuesday, December 02, 2008

morbid curiosity...

... the National Museum of Funeral History is hosting the exhibit "Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes" billed as the only display of papal artifacts outside the Vatican.

It took the museum two years to secure Vatican permission for the project, plus another year to put the exhibit together, said Genevieve Keeney, the museum director who is also a bereavement counselor and licensed funeral director.

It had an advantage in a board member who had a connection to a Vatican official. And Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the Houston-Galveston archdiocese, wrote letters on behalf of the museum. The exhibit is designed to recreate the experience of attending a papal funeral. There is a re-creation of a pope lying in state at St. Peter's Basilica, flanked by two members of the Swiss Guard. A mannequin representing the pontiff is clothed in the funeral vestments made for John Paul II; the Swiss Guard figures wear blue and yellow uniforms donated by the corps.

Once permission was secured for the exhibition, many of the items that are part of it were donated to the museum by papal tailor Roberto Consorsi. They include two of the three sets of funeral vestments made for John Paul II, who was buried wearing one of the sets, and the embroidered sash _ or fascia _ the pope wore every day.

When Consorsi came for the opening and first saw the exhibit, he utter only one word: "Perfecto!" [source]

1 comment:

Milehimama said...

I know the guy who was a consultant for this- he runs a Catholic bookstore here in Houston and also was a good friend of Ann Ball's as well as being the go-to guy for the canonization cause for Bl. Miguel Pro.

I really want to see this! My buddy says it's AMAZING. They have incense in the air and Gregorian chant in the background as you walk through the displays, and the Pope's tailor came to Houston to set up the clothing, etc. (And as a funny aside, he told me the Pope's tailor has a bodyguard, LOL!)