The Slovenia Times

Slovenian floral decorations to embellish St Peter's Basilica again this Easter

Orchids. Photo: Floweracademy
Slovenian florists are about to head to the Vatican again to decorate Saint Peter's Basilica for Easter. Orchids grown in Slovenia will rank prominently in their decorations of the high altar.

Florists Sabina Šegula and Peter Ribič have been making flower arrangements in the Vatican basilica for Easter since 2011 and for many years for Christmas as well. Since 2019, they have also been involved in the conceptual design of the decoration.

Šegula has told the Slovenian Press Agency that this time a three-member delegation from Slovenia will travel to the Vatican. Apart from Ribič and herself, it will also include her student Andreja Bartolj Bele, who is preparing for an international exam. Šegula and Ribič teach at the Naklo Biotechnical Centre near Kranj.

They will travel to the Vatican on 26 March to join their counterparts there and are expected to finish decorating on Holy Saturday. Their task will be to decorate the high altar. Šegula has worked out the plan herself and the Vatican has endorsed it.

Šegula says this year's decoration will be a little different, because the Bernini columns are being renovated, so there will be a little more decoration mainly inside the crypt and the side altar, where Pope Francis is present during the ceremonies. His health no longer permits him to climb the stairs to the high altar.

Orchids brought from Slovenia will represent about a third of the decorations, the rest will be roses, alstroemeria or the Peruvian lilies and other small flowers that make up Easter decorations.

Around 160 pots of pink and as many white orchids will be transported to the Vatican in a temperature-controlled truck, while the florists will travel by train.

A special fund for the promotion of the Slovenian businesses abroad will provide part of the money for the orchids, which are grown by Ocean Orchids, a company located in northeastern Slovenia.

The florists will travel to the Vatican at their own expense. "We do all the work for free, we only get lunch in the Vatican," Šegula says.

More from Society