Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, Private Secretary to His Holiness The Pope, briefs the Holy Father on the ceremonial procedure involved in this general audience.
This next photograph depicts just how close we came to enjoy the presence of our Pope and receive his Papal Blessings.
At long last, His Holiness The Pope, makes his appearance while being chauffeured in his Pope Mobile around St. Peter’s Plaza.
Paul and Heide are getting impatiently ready to see and greet our highly revered and respected Pontiff.
After having waited for longer than two hours, a lone Swiss Guard took his post and everyone knew that the Pope was about to make his appearance.
My, Paul’s, first general audience was with Pope Paul VI with less than 500 believers in attendance. Paul’s second general audience was with Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica on a cold and rainy April day, with less than 200 faithful in attendance. Obviously, the general audience depicted above
eventually attracted at its zenith about a quarter of a million people.
The high point of our pilgrimage to the Vatican was our attendance at the general audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The above photograph depicts the assembly of the faithful as they await the arrival of the Holy Father. Please note the two nuns in their white attire, while a Bavarian traditional brass band is getting ready to entertain the waiting crowd with uplifting southern German tunes.
Not all Vatican office buildings are located within the walls of the Vatican State. Many of them enjoy extraterritorial status within the city limits of Rome.
The next photograph depicts the former embassy of fascist Italy accredited to the Vatican under
the late Pope Pius XII. As is easily recognized, the building is presently utilized in a less glamorous capacity.
The Republic of Brazil requires an entire building to house its embassy to the Vatican.
The Vatican is a National State in its own right and recognized by most governments of this earth. Many governments maintain a greater embassy accredited to the Holy See than they do to the Nation of Italy. A substantial number of countries maintain their Vatican accredited embassies on or near the Via della Conciliazione.
As the following picture clearly shows, the Vatican is being visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, visitors and tourists every day. This number exceeds several millions over the time frame of a year, definitely to the economic benefit of the city of Rome. It may be of particular interest here that the Roman Catholic Church had thus far 265 popes of which eight were of German origin. Our present Pope, His Holiness, Benedict XVI, prior to having been selected by Pope John Paul II to serve the Holy See as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, served as Cardinal and Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany.
Heide photographed Paul in front of a large mosaic dedicated to St. Mary and the Christ Child. As a special note should be recognized the fact that the current Pope, His Holiness, Benedict XVI, has kept intact and in maintenance all the religious manifestations instituted by Pope John Paul II. Please pay attention to the late Pope’s coat-of-arms to the lower left of the mosaic.
Next, and how could it be any different, Heide and Paul paid their first official visit as a married couple to the Plaza of St. Peter's.
Our first steps out of the Residenza led us to the Swiss Guard post, we had previously reconnoitered from our hotel room. The two Swiss Guards pictured below represented the ultimate in courtesy and military bearing.
The last terrace photograph clearly pictures the Abruzzi mountain range in the distance, which provided us with a cool evening breeze.
Naturally, we could not refuse a hotel employee’s kind offer to take a picture of us while we took a few steps on the hotel’s beautiful terrace, which has been used on occasions in the past by producers of romantic Italian movies, as we were told.
A splendid overview of most of the Vatican area could be enjoyed from the hotel’s terrace. The Holy Father’s apartments are quite well visible from here.
The look out of another one of our windows provided us with a view of currently ongoing preservation and construction work at St. Peter’s, including the post of two Swiss Guards, whose responsibility it is to control access to the private living quarters of Vatican non-clerical personnel.
The Residenza Paolo VI is ideally suited to accommodate the serious Vatican pilgrim. Being a guest at Paolo VI, the pilgrimage starts by looking out of the window, beholding the impressive building of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an important institution of the Vatican that was previously one of the domains of Cardinal Professor Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, prior to his ascension to the Papacy after the death of His Holiness Pope St. John Paul II (The Great).
Paul VI sought dialogue with the entire world, with other Christians, other religions, even atheists, excluding nobody. He saw himself as a humbleservant for a suffering humanity and demanded significant changes of the rich in America and Europe in favor of the poor in the Third World, which, naturally, was rebuked by the rich. His pontificate took place during revolutionary changes in the world, student revolts, the Vietnam War and other upheavals. Paul VI died on 6 August 1978. He was canonized during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI.
That our home away from home was dedicated to His Holiness, the late Pope Paul VI, suited Paul just fine, as he had made a fleeting acquaintance with this Holy Father during a general audience at Castel Gandolfo during the spring of 1973. Now, we enjoyed being lodged at a residence dedicated to his name and reputation.
Heide felt right at home at this obviously superbly managed medium-sized hotel with an outstanding décor and ambience, which offered quick access to the Vatican as well as personal security.
Following a most enjoyable visit to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and a flight over the Alps, we arrived at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome, Italy.
Our pilgrimage to the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica was precisely that. It was not to tour Italy or to visit the Eternal City of Rome, although a certain amount of sightseeing was sheer unavoidable yet pleasant.
Our taxi driver took us with great speed and skill to the Residenza Paolo VI. The last portion of this drive took us past the right of St. Peter's Plaza colonnade to our hotel, a well-guarded secret of a reclusive but rather luxurious accommodation for pilgrims to the Eternal City.
PILGRIMAGE TO THE VATICAN AND ST. PETER’S BASILICA, JUNE 2012
Their Most Serene Highnesses
Professor Dr. Paul W. Prince Gulgowski-Doliwa and
Grand Dame Heide A.M. Princess Gulgowski-Doliwa,
The Duke and Duchess of Schlesien Glogau.
Flag and Coat-of-Arms of
The Coat-of-Arms of Our
Greatly Beloved and Highly Revered
Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,
Prof. Dr. Josef Cardinal Ratzinger,
Archbishop of Munich-Freising.
DUCAL/PRINCELY HOUSE GULGOWSKI-DOLIWA
The photographs above depict, from left to right:
The two Pauls near the River Jordan, the Church of The Holy Sepulchre, Heide at the Dead Sea,
The Church of All Nations, The Stone of Anointment and the Russian Orthodox Chapel close to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Gravesite of Princess Katherina, the late Mother of Paul, the Duke of Schlesien-Glogau
A year does not pass without that the gravesite of Princess Katherina is being visited by her son and daughter-in-law, Heide. Princess Katherina rests next to her second-born son, Prince Peter.
LONG LIVE OUR POPE BENEDICT XVI! MAY OUR LORD GOD KEEP HARM FROM HIM!
Heide just felt that she had to be photographed among the many pilgrims and tourists in the Basilica at the time of our visit there.
Judging by the number of visitors desiring to stand in awe of the other marvelous achievement of Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel ranks equal to or manages a close second to the Pieta. Interested admirers were kindly reminded to refrain from photographing this masterwork par excellence.
For this very reason, the photograph made available below has been borrowed from the Internet.
After the conclusion of the general audience, which left us spiritually enriched and physically exhausted, the Holy Father met with visiting Cardinals and Bishops.
Before we delve any deeper into this topic, let it suffice that we previously also visited the
Holy Land, December 1996/January 1997.
Princess Heide and Prince Paul, Duke and Duchess of Schlesien-Glogau
thank their honored readers for having joined them in revisiting our pilgrimage to the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome while also paying attention to precious places in their respective hometowns of Oberhausen and Ratingen in the Upper Rheinland.
The areas immediately surrounding St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican are also of immense interest to the discerning visitor. One is tempted to simply photograph everything. One new vista chases the other. The photograph below shows a three-faceted impression of the right arm of columns extending from St. Peter’s while intersecting with the ancient wall that leads to the Castel Sant’ Angelo. Towering in the middle right above this intersection we observe the Holy Father’s apartments.
No House of God brings one closer to our Creator than the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica. Its art treasures and refined as well as sophisticated marble interior endows one with a refreshing ambience as well as theological orientation. One of the most visited and admired artistic creations is and remains the Pieta forged by the brilliant hands of Michelangelo.
Following the ancient wall from the Vatican to the Castel Sant’ Angelo, which, during its most recent history, played a major role in the internationally acclaimed movie “Angels and Demons,” in which Tom Hanks and Armin Mueller-Stahl played the principal male protagonist roles, we finally reached the famous Castel Sant’ Angelo itself.
Also, please notice the multitude of parked motorcycles, which Romans aggressively but masterfully utilize to fight their way through traffic by just driving around the slowly advancing caravans of in-traffic-stuck automobiles.
The Blessed Pope John Paul II (The Great) has already been moved from the Vatican Grotto of Papal sarcophagi to the Basilica of St. Peter. His unrivaled lifetime achievement certainly did merit this consideration, let alone the fact that he stands already in the grace of beatification.
Prince Paul received his basic yet formidable education at St. Mary's Parochial School, which served him well during his entire lifetime, including his advanced military and university studies. He credits his teacher
Mr. Hemmerich for his achievements.
Princess Heide received her most valuable and formative education at the School Sisters of Notre Dame's Liebfrauenschule, to which she maintains fond and grateful memories for the staff and students there alike. Her favorite instructor was
Director Sister Maria Bonifaza, SND.
As we come to the conclusion of our quite personal and different from the norm Vatican pilgrimage report, we like to take this opportunity to cordially thank the Residenza Paolo VI for its daily Gospel, which we enjoyed immensely. The daily Gospel is being published under the coat-of-arms of the late Pope Paul VI.
The high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica unquestionably takes a pilgrim’s breath away. In relation to the Divinity of the Roman Catholic Church as an instrument of the living God, one cannot help but feel small and being at the mercy of our all knowing and all powerful Creator and Master of the Universe.
With the end of the general audience, we were finally able to seek and find some shade close to the Via della Conciliazione.
HEIDE'S FAVORITE COUSIN
On our worldwide travels, it has become our annual tradition to visit special sites, which are deeply embedded in our minds as they reflect upon long-past memories of our youth. The following images are impressions of our visits to our hometowns Oberhausen and Ratingen.
Among the uncountable number of precious pieces of art in marble and on canvas, Heide stumbled across another, thus far unknown marbleized creation, probably only recently acquired by the Vatican.
A total of 91 popes are interred in individual crypts within the grotto of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
1926 - 2022
"Three Holy Kings" Hotel (Hotel Drei Koenige) in central Ratingen.
This is the location of first rendezvous during autumn of 1986.
The Castel Sant’ Angelo photographed from a different angle, as much as the bus traffic permitted this.
The beatified and historically significant Pope Innocent XI remains also prominently recognized in
St. Peter’s Basilica.
HONORING SAINT HEDWIG OF SILESIA AND SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Heide was baptized in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ratingen/Rhld. However, she attended to her First Confession and received First Communion in the Cloister Church St. Suitbertus also in Ratingen, which was founded the Minoriten Fathers.
Paul is always mindful of the theological, spiritual, moral and ethical education that was bestowed upon him within the venerable walls of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Oberhausen/Rhld., where he was baptized, went to First Confession and received his First Communion.
The Gravesite of Princess Heide's Parents.
Accompanied by her husband, Princess Heide, the Duchess of Schlesien-Glogau
also pays her annual respects to her departed parents.
As we waved a cordial good-bye to the Residenza Paolo VI, we relished our last opportunity to look at St. Peter’s Basilica and Plaza one last time, as our taxi rushed us back to Rome’s international airport.