Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Look for ornate attire during pope’s US visit

April 16, 2008


Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Popes traditionally wear white garments. Pope Benedict XVI has added a few special touches, including a fur-trimmed stocking cap called a camauro. Popular in the Middle Ages, it's not practical for Washington in April, but you might see the pope wearing these items during his visit to the U.S. this week:

¢ Miter: A tall, white, pointed hat worn by the pope, cardinals and bishops. It is removed during prayer.

¢ Zucchetto: A skullcap worn under the miter. The pope's zucchetto is white. Cardinals wear red ones, and bishops' are violet.

¢ Mantum: A papal cape. Recent popes hadn't worn one, but Benedict brought it back.

¢ Pallium: A circular white-wool band draped around the neck and over the shoulders. It is adorned with small crosses and has two hanging flaps, one in front, the other in back.

¢ Mozzetta: A short cape reaching to the elbows. The pope has three versions: red satin for summer, red velvet for winter and white for Eastertime. A papal mozzetta may have a small hood.

¢ Red leather shoes: The color symbolizes the blood of the martyrs, people who chose to suffer or die rather than give up their faith.

¢ Fisherman's ring: Made of gold, it's a symbol of his authority stemming from St. Peter, a fisherman by trade. When Benedict dies, his ring will be crushed and a new one made for the next pope.


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