Religion: End of the Year

On his knees before the Holy Door of St. Peter's, white-mantled Pope Pius XII lifted a golden trowel. In the center of the door's threshold, he placed a dab of slaked lime with the words: "In fide et virtute Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Filii Dei Vivi [In the faith and the strength of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God]." Continuing to intone the Latin formula, he placed lime to the right and left on the threshold, then laid three bricks—one gilt and two silvered—in the mortar. Thus, a year after he...

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