Friday, March 07, 2008

The Vatican Through an Ambassador's Eye

The Vatican Through an Ambassador's Eye

Accompanying the U.S. Envoy to the Holy See

By Elizabeth Lev

ROME, MARCH 6, 2008 ( Art historians secretly dream of going back in time to see artistic masterpieces in their original environment, rather than as museum pieces. In their wildest flights of fancy, they fantasize about being part of that world.

Last Friday, this art historian lived that dream when I accompanied my mother, Mary Ann Glendon, as she presented her credentials to Benedict XVI as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.

As we donned our black mantillas at the embassy residence, we were already entering into a different criterion of beauty and worth. Covered head to toe in long skirts and jackets, all I saw were the radiantly happy faces of my mother, sisters and daughters.

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