Spring 2012

Florence D'Urso Awarded Exclusive Michelangelo Medal

"God does not choose us to do good, we must choose to do good."
~ Blessed Mother Teresa

Marywood alumna Florence D'Urso was recently awarded the Michelangelo Medal for her benevolent generosity to the Vatican Museums. She is one of only three individuals to receive this esteemed honor. The Michelangelo Medal is the most exclusive honor bestowed upon those benefactors of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums who have donated to restoration projects designated by the Vatican City State.

Through the years, Florence's careful patronage has funded dozens of restorations and other projects at the Vatican Museums, including masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Perugino, Raphael, and Bernini.

This prestigious award, conferred by the Cardinal President for the Governorship of the Vatican City State, is given to individuals who have merited special recognition due to their patronage in support of Vatican artistic treasures and patrimony. The medallion is etched on one side with the likeness of the great artistic genius Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), whose works are found throughout the Vatican, and on the reverse side is the coat of arms of the Vatican City State with the papal tiara and keys.

To celebrate this great honor, a Mass was concelebrated on June 24, 2011, with His Eminence Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo in the Chapel of the Holy Family in the Governatorato in the Vatican Gardens. While a series of health setbacks prevented Florence from attending in person, her family, including daughters, Lisa and Donna, and son, Mark, was recognized. Her children accepted the award on their mother's behalf on this momentous occasion. Upon returning from Rome, Florence was blessed to receive two letters from His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father expressed his gratitude for her many charitable works, offered special prayers of remembrance, and imparted his Apostolic Blessing upon Florence and her family.

"It was such an extraordinary milestone in my life and in the life of my family," acknowlegded Florence, who is grateful to God for her many blessings, her deep faith, and her great love for religious art. Throughout her life, Florence has chosen to do good, demonstrating her gratitude by helping those in need and preserving the artistic treasury of the Church.

“It was such an extraordinary milestone in my life
and in the life of my family.”     
- Florence D’Urso

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