The Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo’s masterpiece of the biblical narrative detailed in color and motion adorns the walls and ceiling, is part of the tour of the Vatican Museum in Rome. Why does the Roman Catholic Church have a museum filled with works of art that include not just Christian art, but also those that are of pagan, pre-Christian and Jewish origin and more? Because the history of art and how artists interpret the world, is the history of humanity and God’s relationship with His creation. And since the early 16th century, popes have strived to conserve these unique expressions of human existence. The museum itself has a separate entrance from the Vatican grounds, and thanks to Pope John Paul II who had it remodeled in the 1980’s, it’s a great deal more user friendly, accommodating some 35,000 visitors a day. Not just anyone can give tours of the museum; Dr. Elizabeth Lev is a professor of Art History and is one of the select few licensed to give tours in the museum. On a recent trip to Rome, I was privileged enough to take a tour with Dr Lev. On this episode of Lighthouse Faith, we talked afterwards about how and why art is very much a central part of Christianity and how connected the works are to the central theme of the Holy See’s mission, which is saving souls.