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A Marian pilgrimage in the Vatican Gardens


Beata Zajączkowska

Statue of Our Lady of Czestochowa, in the Vatican Gardens

Daniel Esparza - published on 05/04/24

During the whole month, the Vatican Museums are proposing a cultural, spiritual, and botanical itinerary in the exclusive context of the Gardens.

The Vatican Gardens are a vast natural sanctuary of spiritual significance within the heart of Vatican City. Occupying approximately half of the Vatican’s territory, these gardens were once retreats for popes. Today, the gardens are open to the public, inviting visitors to discover their artistic, spiritual, and botanical treasures.

The month of May holds special significance in the Catholic tradition as a time specially dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This practice stems from centuries-old devotions, where May’s blossoming flowers and vibrant natural beauty symbolize Mary’s virtues and role as the mother of Jesus. It is only natural that the Vatican would seize this opportunity to invite visitors in, as the gardens are blooming: During the whole month, the Vatican Museums are proposing a cultural, spiritual, and botanical itinerary in the exclusive context of the Gardens.

This cultural, spiritual, and nature-filled tour invites visitors to discover the numerous representations of the Virgin Mary scattered throughout this lush setting.

Every Wednesday after the Pope’s general audience and every Saturday, visitors can embark on this journey – from May 4 to May 29.

Mary from around the world

The Gardens host a rich collection of Marian figures from across the globe. You will encounter depictions of Our Lady of Lourdes (including a replica of the famous French original), Our Lady of Fatima, and the monument to Our Lady of Guadalupe – particularly revered by Pope Francis. These diverse portrayals demonstrate how popes throughout history have honored Mary within this special space.

The Marian pilgrimage through the Vatican Gardens is accessible to all visitors. Guided tours, available in Italian and English, are accessible to people with sensory, motor, and learning disabilities. Families with children (aged 6 and over) are particularly invited to experience this enriching visit. To make accessibility arrangements, you can send an email to the Vatican Museums here.

The Vatican Gardens’ Marian pilgrimage offers a meaningful journey for those seeking spiritual solace, artistic appreciation, the tranquility and beauty of nature – or all of the above. In the midst of its flora, you will find a world of devotions and artistic treasures honoring the Virgin Mary, making your May a truly memorable one.

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