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The Tomb of Cardinal Merry del Val

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In the arcosolium next to the Tomb of Pius XI, is the sarcophagus of Cardinal Raphael Merry del Val, the titular of the church of St Praxedes, former Secretary of State of St Pius X and the Archpriest of the Vatican basilica. The titles justify his burial in the Vatican grottoes.


Memoriae in honor of
Cardinal Merry del Val
in the Passageway
to the Sacristy


 

 

 

 

 

 

The inscription above the sarcophagus, to the right, quotes from the last will of the Cardinal, written on the day of his death February 26, 1930, where he gives indications concerning his tomb and epitaph: "I wish to be buried with extreme simplicity. On my tomb is to be only my name and the words 'Da mihi animas coetera tolle'1, the aspiration of my entire life." This is, in fact, the inscription on the sarcophagus made by Luca Beltrami, the architect of the Fabbrica di San Pietro and by Eng. Ernesto Paretti. The style is sober, typical of the 20th century with the monogram of Christ in the center as its only decoration. The only precious element is the stone: onyx from Majorca, commissioned by the friends and nationals of the Cardinal, as the other inscription says.

The area around the Tomb of Cardinal Merry del Val
Tomb of Cardinal Raphael Merry del Val
Close up view of the Sarcophagus of Cardinal Raphael Merry del Val - Vatican Grottoes
Detail of the Sarcophagus of Cardinal Merry del Val
Words describing the Commission of the Tomb of Cardinal del Val
Left Inscription above the Tomb of Cardinal del Val
Words from the Last Will of Cardinal del Val concerning his Tomb
Right Inscription above the Tomb of Cardinal del Val
1Da Mihi Animas Coetera Tolle - This famous quote of Don Bosco's means "Give me Souls..Take Away the Rest"
Source: Roma Sacra The Vatican Grottoes, Fabbrica of St. Peter's, June 2003

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