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Lux in Arcana
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The energetic cardinal Gil de Albornoz
The "Register of the Vows of Fidelity" by Pope Innocent VI

In 1353 Pope Innocent VI ordered Cardinal Gil Álvarez Carillo de Albornoz to Italy as his Legate and General Vicar. Albornoz, known as the assertive fighter, had to combat the unrest instigated by Cola di Rienzo and restore order again.

Albornoz succeeded in subduing the predatory lords in Umbria and Tuscany and to restore the papal authority in Rome. Moreover, he also persuaded dynasties such as Malatesta of Rimini or the Montefeltro of Urbino, as well as cities such as Bologna to recognize the papal supremacy.

The book at hand contains 112 documents from the years 1356 to 1359 filled with wonderful incunabula, miniatures and embellishments. All of them, under notarial certification, have invoked loyalty for the previously mentioned Pope Innocent VI. This applies as a rule to the confirmation of the submission of power of the local administration under papal authority.

A further look at the exhibition: Videos accompany the documents

The Swiss Guard – The soldiers of the Pope
 La Guardia Svizzera – I soldati del papa

On display here are two volumes of the history of the Swiss Guards. The first volume describes the formation and recruitment of the first contingent (the book is from the year 1505). The second volume contains the rules and regulations of the troops.

Volume I: The recruitment of the first contingent

In the year 1505, the Swiss Confederation asked Pope Julius II, whether he would like a contingent of Swiss mercenary soldiers be made available for the protection of the Vatican. This was made possible with the financial help of the Augsburg Family Fugger. In the same year, the first 150 Swiss Guards made their way to Rome. January 22, 1506 is the date considered as the foundation day for the arrival of the Swiss Guards in Vatican.

Volume II: The rules and regulations of the troops

Das hier ausgestellte Regelwerk stammt aus dem Jahr 1561. Organisation und Aufgaben der Schweizergarde bestimmen sich nach einem Reglement, das vom päpstlichen Staatssekretariat im Auftrag des Papstes erlassen wird. Gemäß dem Reglement ist die Hauptaufgabe der Garde, "ständig über die Sicherheit des Heiligen Vaters und seiner Residenz zu wachen". Weitere Pflichten sind aufgrund dieser Bestimmung:

The guidelines issued here date back to the year 1561. The organization and tasks of the Swiss Guards are determined in accordance with a regulation issued by State Secretariat on behalf of the Pope. The principal duty is determined in compliance with the regulation, which is, "to always safeguard the Holy Father and His residence." Further duties in tune with this provision are:

    1. to accompany the Holy Father on his travels,
    2. to guard the entrance to the state of Vatican,
    3. to protect the College of Cardinals during the vacancy of the Holy See and
    4. to perform other regulatory and honourary services, as listed in the regulation.

There are one or perhaps more (?) secret passages from Vatican to Castel Sant'Angelo. In the event that a mean king, emperor or otherwise nasty autocratic monarch decides to attack the Vatican, something that has occurred often in history, the Pope would be able to escape. At one time or another, the Swiss Guards have also lost their lives with it.

Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome

The trial of the Knights Templar
 Scroll with the records of cases

Length of the document: 60 meters
The duration of the trial: November 1309 till June 1311

Over time the order was very successful, especially during the Crusades, and it spread across the whole of Europe; it was long considered as the epitome of pious gallantry. But for many powerful men, the order had become far too influential and it also gave rise to criticism: the Templars became arrogant and greedy for fame and gold. Additionally, in the year 1291, the Muslims rose in counter-attack and the last bastion, Akko, fell. The Holy Land was lost.

Pope Clemens V then repeated the allegations against the Knight of Faith: “Heresy, to which the faith and the souls are exposed.” Using all means possible, torture, lies and intrigue, the Order was brought to trial.

In the year 1312, two of the most powerful men from Christianity came together at the Cathedral in Vienne (south of Lyon): King Philipp IV from France and Pope Clemens V. Here, the Pope proclaimed the decision: in his Bull Vox in excelso he mandated the dissolution of the Order of the Templar.

An impressive piece from the archive of the Borghese Family

The main book of the Family Borghese contained valuable information on the financial position, real estate and wealth of the family from the Italian high nobility, specifically of the inheritance regulations (eredità) from the years 1748 till 1755. It is one example extracted from 9000 copies from the archives of the Family Borghese, which can be found in entirety in the Vatican archive. Pope Paul V (1605-1621) was a Camillo Borgehese, and thus the close relationship of the family to the clergy.

The book has 1057 pages, a back height/width of 43 cm and book covers are made of wood and bound in leather. The weight? 67 kilogrammes!

"The Priests from Dachau"
The Directory of Pastor Andreas Rieser

"Command 44, Medicinal Herbs – Cultures. Andreas Rieser, Overall Command Writer, 1942 – April 26 1945"
(from cover Page 2)

Rev. Andreas Rieser came in 1938 because of defamation of the Führer and the party and on suspicion of treason to the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau - he had criticized Hitler in a document during the renovation of the Dorfgasteiner church tower.

Rieser was one of the many pastors from Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia, who had been tortured for years, and many of whom were killed, particularly in Dachau. From his fellow prisoners, Rieser, owing to his courageous rescues in the concentration camps, had earned the title of Angel of Dachau. In the Dachau concentration camp, as the writer of the Command 44, he listed down all his fellow prisoners, so that their whereabouts could be traced afterwards.

Rieser had also taken part in the infamous death march of the prisoners from Dachau to Tyrol, in which SS soldiers killed many more people - only a few days before the end of the war. He was released on May 1, 1945 by US soldiers and he returned home in extremely poor health.

© Copyright-Note

All the photographs and content in this documentary are protected by copyright law. Copying, duplication and usage of any of the photographs and content without my explicit and written approval is strictly prohibited and punishable by fine. Any violation that becomes known to me will be reported.

© Copyright photos and text: Jochen Weber

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