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On Tuesday 7th March, at 6.30 p.m., St Peter's Basilica will host

the fourth and last appointment, entitled

Quo vadis


Vatican City, 2nd March 2023 - We have reached the last round of the Lectio Petri series of meetings, promoted by the ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’ and the Fratelli tutti Foundation, to explore the life and ministry of the Apostle Peter in theology, history, the arts and culture.

Quo vadis, the fourth appointment, is the closing event analysing the figure of the Apostle in the arts and literature.

The evening will be introduced by Card. Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, and will be enriched, as in the previous meetings, by musical interludes.

Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture and founder of the 'Courtyard of the Gentiles', will comment on some of the most significant passages of the Second Letter of Peter (from chapter 1, verses 1-2; 16-19, from chapter 2, verses 1-2; 13-14; 17-19, from chapter 3, verses 3-4; 8-10) and the Acts of Peter.

Then Pietro Zander, Head of the Necropolis and Cultural Heritage of the Fabric of St. Peter in the Vatican, will propose a Petrine Itinerary, "Peter in the House of Peter", through the iconography dedicated to the Fisherman of Galilee and the Petrine testimonies present in the Basilica.

The readings will be delivered by journalist and TV presenter Antonella Ventre.

The pieces Aurea Luce by Pietro Raimondi and Tu es Petrus by Lorenzo Perosi, music traditionally performed in St Peter's Basilica on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, will be performed by the Choir and Brass Sextet of the Vatican Vicariate, accompanied by Maestro Gianluca Libertucci on the organ and conducted by Maestro Temistocle Capone.


"We will be closing this evocative cycle of meetings in the Basilica," explains Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, - with some passages from the Second Letter of Peter, which is a sort of spiritual testament, almost a farewell discourse. Probably the work of a Christian author many years after him; the writing is nonetheless placed under the Apostle's patronage and is curious and highly topical, because it describes the first crises of the Christian community, which is faced with "false teachers and prophets", with the first Gnostic, intellectualistic and libertine temptations.

Together with the Acts of Peter, which describe Christ's encounter with Peter who had fled from Rome, we will also revisit that famous "Quo vadis?", which gives the title to our Lectio and was made famous in the novel by the Polish writer Henryk Sienkiewicz and the eponymous film colossal".


"Talking about 'Peter in the House of Peter' is a rediscovery of the very essence and charm of the Vatican Basilica," Pietro Zander points out. "The most genuine and profound meaning of this place is in fact in its very origin, in what has featured its birth and life over the centuries. This basilica - and, before it, the Constantinian and medieval basilicas - was built to house the tomb of Peter: Peter lives here, Pétros eni (Peter is here), as evoked by a graffito in Greek letters from one thousand eight hundred years ago, found at the Apostle's humble burial place under the basilica's high altar.

Entering the Vatican Basilica therefore means meeting Peter: the first Pope to lead the Church. Arriving “ad limina Petri” is not only the coveted goal of a pilgrimage, but also the point of arrival of an inner journey that this basilica seems to suggest in a sequence of spaces, symbols and images that stimulate reflection.

Following Peter, one comes to Christ! Thus, in front of the Confession, Pope St Leo the Great († 461) pronounced the following words: "[...] just as what Peter believed in Christ endures, so what Christ instituted in the person of Peter endures [...]. In the whole Church, Peter proclaims every day: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (De Natale ipsius, III, SCh 200, pp. 256, 258)".



The Courtyard of the Gentiles is a structure of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, founded by Card. Gianfranco Ravasi to promote dialogue between believers and non-believers. Through events, meetings, debates, research and opportunities for sharing, the Courtyard of the Gentiles has established itself as a meeting place for prominent personalities from secular and Catholic cultures, on issues and challenges that affect contemporary society - such as ethics, legality, science, faith, sport, art, youth and new technologies. In 2011, the eponymous Foundation was also established to support the mission and activities of the Courtyard of the Gentiles. The Foundation, chaired by Prof. Giuliano Amato, pursues social solidarity and is inspired by the logic of non-profit.



The Fratelli tutti Foundation, established by the Holy Father on 8 December 2021 with a pontifical chirograph, was created by the Fabric of St. Peter to promote paths of art and faith, education and dialogue with other cultures, peoples and religions. Through the symbolic power of embracing the world, expressed by Bernini's colonnade, the Foundation's mission is to foster "fraternity" and "social friendship". This is why it stands 'on the threshold', between St. Peter's Basilica and the city, as symbolised by the logo composed of people in motion, who are on the one hand welcomed, and on the other expressing the very dynamism of the Church that includes forming the embrace. The Foundation's mission areas are:

● The paths of art and faith, to enable the many visitors to have a spiritual experience by grasping the meaning of the various dimensions of beauty.

● Cultural and spiritual formation, to build an educational community around St. Peter's through seminars, lectiones, events, experiences, paths and spiritual exercises.

● Dialogue with cultures, other Christian denominations, and other religions on the themes of the Pontiff's latest encyclicals to build a 'social alliance'.


To attend the 4th March event, please register at the following link: https://bit.ly/3lX9X4W



Journalists and media operators wishing to participate should send a request, within 24 hours of the event, through the Online Accreditation System of the Holy See Press Office, at: press.vatican.va/accreditations


Requests for interviews should be submitted in advance to the Press Offices.







Press Office Cortile dei Gentili: Giulia Tosana - g.tosana@cortile.va - 333 1732069

Press Office Fratelli tutti Foundation: Rita Cristofari - ritacristofari@gmail.com - 331 2969626