Did ancient chariots pave the Vatican's way?

Recently on "The Catholic Talk Show," Ryan Scheel, Ryan DellaCrosse, and Father Rich Pagano discuss fascinating facts and history about the Vatican that are bound to surprise even the most knowledgeable Catholics!

Vatican Over a Racetrack?

Did you know "Vatican City was built on top of a racetrack,” and not only that, but the famous Obelisk that adorns Saint Peter’s Square has its roots firmly in that ancient racetrack?

Scheel explains it actually "still exists in Saint Peter’s Square to this day" because “in the ancient world, they never removed what was below it; they just infilled it with dirt."


circus of nero, vatican, vatican history, racetrack
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Vatican's 'Independence Day'

The guys explain how the “Roman question” is one of the most significant parts of Vatican history.

"February 11, 1929, is when Vatican City was founded in the Lateran treaty," says Scheel.

This marked the inception of Vatican City as an independent state, a result of intricate negotiations and the unique relationship between the Pope, Rome, and the world.

Protection Against Pirates

The famous “leonine walls” of Vatican City, Scheel says, were actually "built-in protection against Muslim Pirates."

A historical safeguard built in the ninth century, they are a testament to the various threats Vatican City had to face and its enduring resilience as the heartbeat of the Eternal City.

"Prayer protects you from the piracy of demonic activity in your life," Father Pagano says.

This episode is a treasure trove of history, tradition, and faith. And if you've been to Vatican City or want to go, it might just make you see it in a completely new light!

Scheel says it best: "Vatican City is the most unique country in the world.”

Check out the full episode to learn all the things you didn’t know about Vatican City:

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

What were you surprised to learn?

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