Pave the Way Foundation Honors the Vatican Library

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Pave the Way Foundation, a worldwide non-sectarian organization dedicated to achieving world peace through historic gestures of good will, has a presented a symbolic gift to the Vatican Library. The gift, a statue depicting Pope John Paul II in his historic gesture of placing a prayer in the Western Wall in Jerusalem on March 26, 2000, was presented to Fr. Raffaele Farina SBD, Prefect of the Library and Dr. Ambrogio Piazzoni.Vice Prefect.

Pave the Way Foundation, a worldwide non-sectarian organization dedicated to achieving world peace through historic gestures of good will, has a presented a symbolic gift to the Vatican Library. The gift, a statue depicting Pope John Paul II in his gesture of placing a prayer in the Western Wall in Jerusalem on March 26, 2000, was presented to Fr. Raffaele Farina SBD, Prefect of the Vatican Library, and Dr. Ambrogio Piazzoni,Vice Prefect.

In recent years, the Vatican Library has performed several international gestures of goodwill through its loans and outreach to all of the religions. These gestures are important steps to achieve world peace, providing communication between religions, which increases understanding and fellowship between the diverse peoples of Earth. Working with PTWF, a significant gesture occurred on September 27, 2005 when the Vatican Library loaned priceless Hebrew manuscripts to The Israel Museum in Jerusalem for their 40th anniversary celebration. These included a magnificently illustrated 15th-century manuscript of the Mishneh Torah, the text which was written in the 12th century by the Rambam (Maimonides); a copy of the Arba’ah Turim, Rabbi Jacob ben Asher’s renowned medieval text of Jewish law; a complete Hebrew Bible codex and a book of Psalms, both produced in Rome in the 13th century and greatly prized by Jewish scholars since that time. This was the first ever loan from the Vatican library to the State of Israel.

Illustrating the significance of this gesture, James S. Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum, stated “Crowning our 40th Anniversary, this special presentation of rare illuminated manuscripts has religious, as well as cultural and diplomatic, significance, and it therefore holds special meaning for our Museum in this celebratory year. We are grateful to the Vatican Library for the loan of these truly unique treasures, which is emblematic of the strengthening cultural ties between the Vatican and the State of Israel.”

Additionally, the Vatican Library has always permitted scholars of every religion access to their vast collection and, recently, in cooperation with Pave the Way Foundation, has embarked upon a massive project to digitize their manuscript collection. This will ensure that the priceless documents can never be lost to future generations and it may one day be possible for anyone to view the library’s collection on the Internet.

"With these gestures of good will, the Vatican Library trustees and staff have truly embodied the words of Pope John Paul II in his March 26th 2000 letter, “We wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant.”said, Gary Krupp, President of PTWF.

The statue gift was created by renowned Israeli sculptur Sam Philipe and member of the board of PTWF, made of sterling silver and Jerusalem stone. His unique sculptures have been repeatedly commissioned by Israeli leaders to be presented to world leaders and dignitaries, including Pope John Paul II, President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton, King Hussein of Jordan, and the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Sam Philipe is convinced that art builds bridges between nations and between religions. He says "Instead of making war, and exchanging bullets and bombs, we should be giving each other art. It opens doors and builds bridges. Art fosters understanding, and this helps us talk sensibly and positively with each other".SAm also added that "this is the basis of the work of PTWF."

Gestures such as the actions of the Vatican Library further the mission of PTWF to bridge the gap between people of all religions through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. PTWF promotes peace by promoting tolerance and learning by focusing on what unites people of various faiths, while encouraging mutual learning and understanding. On January 18, 2005, Pave the Way Foundation led the largest group of Jewish leaders in history to the Vatican to thank Pope John Paul II. PTWF also sponsored an historic exhibit entitled Pope John Paul II & the Jewish People –A Blessing to One Another, which opened in September at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

About Pave the Way Foundation

Pave the Way Foundation is dedicated to bridging the gap between religions through cultural, technological, and intellectual exchanges. The Foundation has a simple yet monumental vision: To enable all the world’s religions to mutually realize that extremism, politics and personal agendas must not be allowed to poison the true benevolent message common to all faiths. Bigotry and hatred must be abolished by the faithful embracing their similarities and savoring their differences. More information on the Foundation can be found at

http://www.ptwf.org.

Contact Linda Simpson

212 629 0046

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