Francis expresses gratitude to patrons of art

Pope Francis on Saturday greeted The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. The patrons, who are dedicated to preserving the collection of art housed in the Vatican museums, were in Rome for the 30th anniversary of the group's founding.

In his address, Francis thanked the patrons for their "outstanding contribution to the restoration of numerous treasures of art preserved in the Vatican collections and to the broader religious, artistic and cultural mission of the Museums," Vatican Radio reported.

"In every age, the church has called upon the arts to give expression to the beauty of her faith and to proclaim the Gospel message of the grandeur of God's creation, the dignity of human beings made in his image and likeness, and the power of Christ's death and resurrection to bring redemption and rebirth to a world touched by the tragedy of sin and death," Francis said.

He said the Vatican Museums make it possible for visitors to Rome "to encounter this message through works of art, which bear witness to the spiritual aspirations of humanity, the sublime mysteries of the Christian faith, and the quest of that supreme beauty, which has its source and fulfillment in God."

Francis ended his address with a prayer that patronage of the arts would always be a sign of "interior participation in the spiritual life and mission of the church" and "an expression of our hope in the coming of that Kingdom."

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