Merry Christmas

Dear Patrons and friends,

Just when we thought things would resume to “normal”, the lights of Christmas seem dimmed this year too by the pandemic. Yet, all the more reason why we are called to not to lose hope.
Pope Francis reminded us a few weeks ago :

The feast of the Birth of Christ is not out of tune with the trial we are going through, because it is the quintessential feast of compassion, the feast of tenderness. Its beauty is humble and full of human warmth. (The Holy Father went on to stress that the beauty of Christmas shines through in the sharing of small gestures of concrete love. I want to take this occasion to personally thank you for sharing so many of these kind gestures with our team… We feel your support!

In the same address, Pope Francis repeated the words of Pope St Paul VI: “’This world in which we live needs beauty so as not to fall into despair. Which beauty? Not the false one, made of appearances and earthly riches, which is hollow and a generator of emptiness. No. But that of a God made flesh, the one of faces- the beauty of faces, the beauty of stories; that of the creatures that make up our common home and which – as Saint Francis teaches us – participate in the praise of the Most High.”

Last but not least, I thank our Patrons who renewed their annual membership this year. Membership establishes our Patrons as ambassadors of Beauty as they help sustain the 500-year-old cultural and artistic legacies within the Vatican Museums.

As I stated, if we take a moment to reflect on the many graces and blessings that our Good and Gracious God has bestowed on us throughout the year, we have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.

With gratitude,
Fr Kevin Lixey, L.C.

PS: Did you know about the he extended CARES Act incentives for charitable giving for 2021?

For United States tax-paying residents who itemize their deductions, the CARES ACT allows for these cash contributions to qualified charities such as ours to be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for the 2021 calendar year as compared to the normal 60%.

Additionally, the CARES Act increased the cash contribution limit for corporations from 10% to 25% in 2020 and 2021. Finally, even if you don’t itemize, perhaps a year-end gift to our crowdfunding project– the Histories of Santa Barbara might interest you?

If you would like to share an extra gift with the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums before the end of the year, please visit our donate page: or contact Denise Molitsky at (651) 560-6119 or

Merry Christmas APAVM
In the pictures: The Nativity by Domenico Ghirlandaio c. 1492. Tempera on wood, 45 x 42 cm. Pinacoteca, Vatican Museums.