John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute

In collaboration with the Sidival Fila Foundation presents

SINDONI Sidival Fila at the Lateran Baptistery June 17-30, 2022

Contemporary Art Exhibition Project for The Word Meeting of Families Rome 22

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Contemporary Art Exhibition Project for the Word Meeting of Families Rome 22

Contemporary Art Exhibition Project -
World Meeting of Families 2022

The Pontifical Theological Institute "John Paul II" for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family was founded by Pope Francis with the Motu Proprio Summa familiae cura of 8 Sept. 2017. The Institute constitutes an academic centre of reference, at the service of the mission of the universal Church, for the promotion of research in the field of theology and the sciences of marriage and the family, both with regard to the new dimensions of the pastoral task and with reference to developments in the human sciences and anthropological culture. The Institute is open to lay people, priests and religious engaged in various capacities in the accompaniment of families. It has a headquarters in Rome and seven foreign Sections (United States, Mexico, Spain - two branch offices in Valencia and Madrid), Brazil, Benin and India, with Associated Centres in Lebanon, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic.

  • To get to know the Institute, we look forward to seeing you at: The Open Day

The Concept “Sindoni”

  • 01 The exposition proposed by Fra Sidival Fila

    for the historic Baptistery of St. John Lateran is called "Sindoni." This artistic initiative, organised and promoted by the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute, is the Institute’s cultural contribution to the 10th World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Rome from June 22-26, 2022, bringing together families and delegates of the episcopal conferences from all over the world. The eight canvases in the exposition were made using fabrics and floral elements dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. They are linings of dalmatics used in the liturgy, carefully restored, and placed on cotton fabrics. Plates of plexiglass mirrors will then be installed on the back of the canvases, in order to visually brighten the works as they are hung in the centre of the Baptistry, reflecting the fabrics as if they were windows open to infinite and undefined spaces.

  • aims to propose a reflection on time, on memory, and on the experience of so many people which remains indelibly imprinted in the fabrics. Various shapes can be glimpsed on the fabrics that, "like shrouds" of bodies – sweat and oxidation, stains and lacerations – coexist together, in a constant and palpable dialogue. Moreover, the artefacts bear witness to the practice of loom weaving through interwoven textiles, eloquent symbols of the efforts of human relationships and work. The garments re-veil our inner being, animated by a thinking and loving spirit, oriented towards the infinite presence that inhabits us.

  • or herself and as a being in relationship, is represented in these vestiges the fabric that have clothed the bodies of the human family: bodies that are waiting for redemption, to be immersed in the waters of Baptism, which are thirsty for the water gushing from the Body of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

  • without bodies and without faces, so that every body and every face can be seen reflected and expressed in these evanescent corporeal forms, which span the centuries. In this exposition, we imagine the bodies and faces of all the families of the world, who in the toil of everyday life and with the wounds generated by relationships carry forth the history of the world, on the way towards the hope of universal welcome and redemption.

The Artist

Sidival Fila

Sidival Fila, Franciscan friar minor, artist and President of the philanthropic foundation that carries his name, roots his artistic research on disused materials, mostly fabrics, including linen, cotton, silk, hemp, brocade, and other used materials. His idea is to free the object from its “material” condition and give it the possibility to express itself. In short, starting from the fabric functionality, Sidival Fila manages to make it useless in an unusual way, freeing it from its condition. His aesthetic journey is a constant quest for the contact with the matter, and his art aims at giving it back its “voice.” The artwork gives the matter the chance to tell us its past, a past that is often made of centuries of history. Read more

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Inauguration of the exhibition

The inaugural event will take place inside the Lateran Baptistery on June 17, 2022, from 7 to 8 pm. Free admission, until the spaces are filled.

The dean of the Philippe Bordeyne Institute, His Excellency Mons.Dario Gervasi and a representative of the Laity Family and Life Dicastery will be present, symbolizing the synergy between the three institutions carried out throughout the year Amoris Laetitia dedicated to the family with the three days study organized by the Institute to deepen the theological and pastoral themes of the apostolic exhortation on family love and that given the plot of Sidival Fila's work always in the background, in preparation for the final exhibition.

The presentation speech will be held by Mons. Pierangelo Sequeri, director of the Gaudium et Spes chair, and Alessandro Beltrami, journalist of Avvenire. Afterwards there will be the possibility of offering a sober aperitif set up in the internal portico of the Baptistery.

Duration and method of access



Battistero Lateranense,
Piazza san Giovanni in Laterano 4
Rome, 00186