Sunday, April 17, 2005

John Paul II's Poem on the Conclave

From Roman Triptych:

"It is here, beneath this wondrous Sistine profusion of color
that the Cardinals assemble--
the community responsible for the legacy of the
keys of the Kingdom.
They come here, to this very place.
And once more Michelangelo wraps them in his vision.
'In Him we live and move and have our being.'

Who is He?
Behold, the creating hand of the Almighty,
the Ancient One,
reaching towards Adam...
In the beginning God created...
He, who sees all things...

The colors of the Sistine will then speak the
word of the Lord:
Tu es Petrus--once heard by Simon, son of John.
'To you I will give the keys of the Kingdom.'
Those entrusted with the legacy of the keys
gather here, letting themselves be enfolded
by the Sistine's colors,
by the vision left to us by Michelangelo--
So it was in August, and again in October,
in the memorable year of the two Conclaves,
and so it will be once more, when the time comes,
after my death.
Michelangelo's vision must then speak to them.
'Con-clave': a shared concern for the legacy of the keys,
the keys of the Kingdom.
Lo, they see themselves in the midst of the
Beginning and the End,
between the Day of Creation and the Day of Judgment...
It is granted man once to die, and thereafter, the Judgment!

Final transparency and light.
The clarity of the events--
the clarity of consciences--
During the conclave Michelangelo must teach them--
Do not forget: Omnia nuda et aperta sunt ante oculos Eius.
You who see all, point to him!
He will point him out...

Pope John Paul II
'Epilogue,' Roman Triptych, 2003"


  1. My first time for reading his poetry and it is nice and clear.
    One question, is the sentence following the Latin words, "Omnia nuda et aperta sunt ante oculos Eius", its translation? Thanks. Peg

  2. The Latin translates to something like, "All are naked and perceived before the eyes of God".

  3. I am the new Pope. I am Pope Peter xii.

  4. No. I am the new pope.