Tulips at the Old Parsonage by passionate plantsman Charlie McCormick in the lovely Village of Little Bredy in Dorset.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vatican Gardens Provide Prayerful Oasis

"It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men."
~ Pope Benedict XVI

Recently, the world spotlight has been focused on the Vatican and the tight knot of buildings squeezed into its walls. Between St. Peter’s Basilica, the Nervi audience hall, the Domus Sanctae Martae and the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City has seemed like a condensed cluster of structures.

Behind those lofty brick or travertine facades, however, lies the oasis of the Vatican Gardens, where Pope Benedict XVI will live out his days in a renovated monastery. The gardens were already dear to the pope emeritus, who referred to them as his "vital space" for prayer.

The Vatican city state comprises 104 acres, of which 57 are destined for gardens. This division is much like the synthesis of the active and contemplative in the Christian life, where the busy existence in the world is fortified by quiet times of prayer.

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