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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I Have a Pallium. We have Pallia.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and blessed the pallia that will be conferred on metropolitan archbishops by pontifical representatives.
As is customary, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led this year by Metropolitan Methodios Tournas of Boston, attended the Mass in honor of the patrons of Rome.

Blessed the what?


The pallium (derived from the Roman pallium or palla, a woolen cloak,  pl.: pallia) is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. In that context it has remained connected to the Papacy.
The pallium, in its present Western form, is a narrow band, "three fingers broad", woven of white lamb's wool from sheep raised by Trappistt monks, with a loop in the centre resting on the shoulders over the chasuble and two dependent lappets, before and behind; so that when seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y. It is decorated with six black crosses, one on each tail and four on the loop, is doubled on the left shoulder, and sometimes is garnished, back and front, with three jeweled gold pins. The two latter characteristics seem to be survivals of the time when the Roman pallium was a simple scarf doubled and pinned on the left shoulder.

The Papal Pallium