Updated 1/12/10The Vatican Radio website has been running a weekly Saturday series titled "Vatican Centuries" about the historical events that contributed to the making of the Vatican. The series of dramatizations is written by Jill Bevilacqua and produced by Sean Patrick Lovett. So far, 23 episodes have aired, ranging from 8 to 12 minutes in length. The link to episode 23 is up, but the links to the first 22 episodes no longer work.
Vatican Centuries 1: Introduction, the Vatican from the time of Pagan Rome
Vatican Centuries 2: Nero's Persecutions at the Vatican Circus.
Vatican Centuries 3: The Memorial: St. Peter's life and tomb.
Vatican Centuries 4: St. Constantine's life and decision to build a basilica to St. Peter
Vatican Centuries 5: The Established Church: The Edict of Milan, the design of Constantine's basilica to St. Peter, St. Helena's life and influence.
Vatican Centuries 6: The First St. Peter's: Continued construction after Constantine's death, as St. Peter's became a place of pilgrimage.
Vatican Centuries 7: The early popes, the preservation of the catacombs, the influence of St. Ambrose.
Vatican Centuries 8: "Sovereign Pontiff": The sack of Rome, Pope/St. Leo the Great and Atilla the Hun.
Vatican Centuries 9: Pope/St. Gregory the Great, the altar of St. Peter's, Church music, and the decline of Rome.
Vatican Centuries 10: The Lateran in the Middle Ages.
Vatican Centuries 11: "The Pilgrim": Pilgrimages to Rome that followed St. Augustine's 6th century re-evangelization of England.
Vatican Centuries 12: A growing English colony settles near St. Peter's in the 7th and 8th centuries, as reported by the Venerable Bede.
Vatican Centuries 13: The construction of a "treasure house" of beautifully embellished Roman churches, including St. Peter's Basilica. As iconoclasm grew in the East, the Papacy forged a connection with the Frankish monarchy in the West.
Vatican Centuries 14: Charlemagne protecting the papacy, as the papacy's temporal power developed in the late 8th century.
Vatican Centuries 15: The last phase of the Dark Ages. A Moorish attack left Vatican Hill in ruins. Reconstruction began in the 9th century, but anarchy prevailed.
Vatican Centuries 16: The break between the Papacy and Constantinople as the new millennium began. Hildebrand's election to the papacy and development of papal authority.
Vatican Centuries 17: The 11th century restoration of Rome despite continued outbreaks of violence. Reforms by Pope Gregory VII and clashes between papacy and empire.
Vatican Centuries 18: The 12th century concordat between papacy and empire. A flowering of artists in the churches. St. Bernard and the first two Crusades.
Vatican Centuries 19: The height of papal temporal power in the early 13th century with Pope Innocent III, the first of the "lawyer popes". Theological reforms and Crusades. Rebuilding of the Vatican and Lateran palaces. Sts. Francis and Dominic.
Vatican Centuries 20: "Splendour and Decline" - The 13th century's universities, cultural advances, and splendid papal honor; the Roman Curia's occupation with lawsuits and other secular affairs, and the pope's need for money prompting a jubiiee year in which pilgrims brought treasure to Rome to obtain indulgences.
Vatican Centuries 21: "The Long Absence" - The Black Death, the popes' 70 year exile to Avignon, and great damage to the churches of Rome by earthquakes and fires. Giotto's artwork in Old St. Peter's and elsewhere.
Vatican Centuies 22: In the 14th century, Sts. Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Sienna encourage the papal return to Rome. Pope Gregory XI's return, taking residence at the Vatican Palace instead of the Lateran. Pope Urban VI enthroned.
Vatican Centuries 23: "The Great Schism" - The end of the 14th century and beginning of the Renaissance. Pope Urban VI's conflict with the College of Cardinals. Popes and anti-popes. Pope Martin V and the end of the schism.