The robes of Saint Peter and Saint John. Two relics of the Sancta Sanctorum
The robes of Saint Peter and Saint John. Two relics of the Sancta Sanctorum

The robes of Saint Peter and Saint John. Two relics of the Sancta Sanctorum

New restoration

Thursday 23 May 2024 | 04.00 p.m.
Vatican Museums Conference Hall – in person and live streaming

The masterpieces of the Sancta Sanctorum now housed in the Pope’s Museums will once again be the focus of the Thursday in the Vatican Museums programme.
On Thursday 23 May – three years after the presentation of the innovative restoration of the Capsella Vaticana – a new meeting will be held, dedicated to two more precious relics from the inestimable “Treasury” of the Papal Chapel of the Sancta Sanctorum (at the top of the Holy Stairs of the Pontifical Shrine in San Giovanni in Laterano Square): the tunic of Saint Peter and the dalmatic of Saint John.

A sound modern tradition identified both robes of eastern style, found in 1903 among the extraordinary objects of the “Treasury”, as garments worn by the two Saints. Recent studies, with valid probability, have linked the precious artefacts to a passage in the biography of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) written in the ninth century by Deacon John, which attests to the presence among the Lateran relics of precisely one tunic and one dalmatic, which belonged to Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Pascasius respectively.

At the conference, the recently completed conservation intervention regarding the two sacred robes by the restorer Emanuela Pignataro, coordinated by Chiara Pavan, Director of the Vatican Museums Tapestries and Textiles Laboratory. The results of new analyses and historical research carried out at the Cabinet of Scientific Research will be presented, enriching the history of both relics with further information and meaning.
The usual introduction by the Director of the Vatican Museums, Barbara Jatta, will then be followed by interventions by Luca Pesante, Director of the Department of Decorative Arts; Alessandro Vella, Assistant of the Department of Christian Antiquities, Loretta Del Francia Barocas, Associate Professor of History of Coptic Art at “La Sapienza” University of Rome; Chiara Pavan and Emanuela Pignataro of the Tapestries and Textiles Restoration Laboratory; and Stefania Bani and Francesca Cibin of the Cabinet of Scientific Research applied to Cultural Heritage.