“The land where God revealed his love”

“The land where God revealed his love”

The event on the lands of the Bible dedicated to the centenary of the Studium Biblicum comes to an end in Vicenza  

A series of events were held in Vicenza between 24 and 26 May dedicated to the Holy Land as part of the initiatives of the “Lymph of the Olive Tree: a Focus on the Biblical Lands.”

Lecturers and scholars from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum  in Jerusalem, which this year  commemorates its centenary, also remembered by the exhibition on the Centenary in the hall  of the Palazzo delle Opere Sociali in Vicenza.

Professor don Gianantonio Urbani, guest professor of Biblical Excursions  at the SBF and in charge of the exhibition, is also one of the organizers of this annual event: “The 2024 edition closed with an excellent participation and great involvement of the public, also thanks to the exhibition on the centenary which we are hosting here in Vicenza. The exhibition, held for the first time in Rome at the start of the Centenary, is at its second port of call, and will then be in Milan, in Falconara Marittima and in other places that are being decided.”

Fra Bottini of the Studium Biblicum: “let us remember the pioneers looking to the future”

The speakers included Fra Giovanni Claudio Bottini, lecturer emeritus of the SBF, whose contribution was on the 100 years of discoveries in the Holy Places. Fra Bottini talked about those who were the pioneers of the archaeological research of the Studium Biblicum and saw the beginning of the marvellous season of discovery of the Holy Places mentioned in the New Testament.

“The evaluation of these 100 years is truly remarkable,” commented Fra Bottini. “There is no Holy Place or shrine that has not been analysed and studied by the Franciscans and that does not have a historical archaeological and literary study. Every single site has been explored not in search of a “preconceived” idea but to ascertain to what extent Christian and literary tradition and the tradition established by pilgrims have their grounds in the field. The future is open by the new challenges that make archaeology and historical research a site made up of different disciplines and that together form historical and archaeological research.”

Nowadays, each excavation requires the work of many specialists of the sector, in the field of archaeology, numismatics, anthropology, pottery and so on.

Our living masters in the study of their works

Fra Amedeo Ricco, archaeologist of the SBF was able to present a part of the result of his research focused on the Anastasis in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre for the reinterpretation of some aspects which are still unpublished. “Through my research,” Fra Amedeo emphasized, “I have had access to the materials of all the scholars who have followed on one another in these 100 years: their writings, their drawings and their reflections are still alive thanks precisely to the possibility of using this precious treasure. And this way with my work, I also become a living part of this centenary.”

Fra Massimo Pazzini’s contribution was on the theme of the festival of Vicenza with the title “Agape” and he spoke of the strength of the Word of God in the Song of Songs, a narration of human love which urges towards Divine Love. “The word of God is a human word, a human word which is sanctified,” Fra Massimo Pazzini explained. This year, the topic of the Biblical festival is love and we learn the example from the Song of Songs where love is seen and lived and narrated, from all points of view. Human love is necessary to be able to reach the love of God: it means that if we really want to love God, we have to start from human love.”

Prof. Bruno Callegher, numismatic and who collaborates with the SBF, then presented the studies on coins carried out by Father August Spijkerman of the SBF, through a fascinating interpretation of this scholar who did a great deal for numismatics, especially at the site of Qumran.

Lastly, Don Raimondo Sinibaldi, President of the Fondazione Homo Viator, concluded the festival speaking on the topic of the people of Vicenza’s love for the Holy Land, a love which also shown by the presence of numerous relics in Vicenza.

Silvia Giuliano

Foto Credits © Fondazione San Teobaldo Vicenza