Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Flag of the Papal States Returns to the Vatican -- Saved in 1870

(Rome/Vatican) After 144 years the Papal flag, which flew from the city door of the Porta Pia, will return again to the Vatican. The flag was flown from the Aurelian city wall of Rome till the 20th September 1870, as a continuation of a thousand years came to an en, when Italian troops attacked the Church State.

The flag comes with an especially symbolic character for the troops of the Kingdom of Savoy charged the city walls seeking to breach and break through the Pia Porta, built by Michelangelo in the 16th Century.

The Papal flag on the battlement did not fall into the hands of the attackers. They were saved by Prince Ruslpoli. The Troops of the Kingdom of Italy succeeded in their successful incursion through the garden in the Villa of Napoleon Karl Bonaparte, a Grand Nephew of Napoleon I, and Christina Ruspoli. In the garden of the villa was the site of the last defensive battle in the siege at which 19 Papal Zouaves fell. The flag, perforated by numerous bullet holes, was brought to safety by Princess Cristina and since then guarded by the Ruspoli family.

29. September 2011, for the feast of the Papal Gendarmes, Prince Sforza Ruspoli will place the Vatican flag back. The restoration ceremony will take place at 17.30 on the square at the Governorate in Vatican City. After the review of the various units, and the honorary procession and National Anthem of the Papal State, Prince Ruspoli will hand over the Papal flag of the Porta Pia and therefore the last flag of the old Church State, to Cardinal Secretary Tarcicio Bertone. Finally, a commemoration to the fallen will take place where a message from Pope Benedict XVI will be read.

The relationship of the Ruspoli Family with the Popes speaks of a long history, which experienced an intensive period in the 18th century. In 1708 Francesco Maria Ruspoli raised the Ruspoli Regiment with a strength of a thousand men and put it at the service of the Holy see. In 1721 Pope Benedict XIII raised Francesco Maria and his heirs to the Roman Principate. At the end of the 18th century the Ruspoli lent the sum of 800.000 gold scudi to compensate the dues which Napoleon Bonaparte had then levied against the Church.

The current family head, the 84 year old Prince Sforza Ruspoli, organizes every year on the 20th of September with the Militia Christi, a counter demonstration at the Porta Pia, where the Freemasons and other enemies of the Church celebrate the fall of the Church State every year. For this event, he unfurls the rescued Papal flag on the battlements of the city gate to remember the Papal soldiers who lost their lives in defense of the Pope and the Church.

Text: Vatican Insider/Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Vatican Insider

Link to original, Katholisches...

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