Francis' Papal Symbols linked to
Francis wears the red and white pallium around his neck during his Installation
Mass in St. Peter's Square, March 19, 2013. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
News/Getty Images.Vatican City, (EWTN News/CNA):
Pope Francis was installed as Bishop of Rome today, the two major symbols of the
authority he received were connected to previous Popes.
The inauguration ceremony began with Pope Francis
visiting the tomb of St. Peter. He then processed out to the square, with the
patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches carrying the Book of the Gospels,
his pallium and the Fisherman’s ring.
As the procession made its way, a choir sang a
special litany of the saints that included those Popes who have been recognized
But in addition to these echoes of previous Popes,
the papal ring and the pallium – a circular stole of white wool that symbolizes
Francis' role as the chief shepherd of the Church – are connected to Paul VI and
Benedict XVI, respectively.
The ring, known as the Fisherman’s ring because
Jesus made Peter a “fisher of men,” has a unique and circuitous history.
The late Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, former
personal secretary of Pope Paul VI, kept the wax cast of a ring made for the
Pope by the artist Henry Manfrini.
The ring was never cast into metal, and Paul VI
never wore it because he always wore the ring that was commissioned at the time
of the Second Vatican Council,” Vatican press office director Father Federico
Lombardi explained March 18.
Archbishop Macchi, who died in 2006, left the cast
to Monsignor Ettore Malnati, and he had a silver ring with gold plating made
from the wax cast. The ring depicts Saint Peter holding the keys of
After he was elected Pope, Francis was offered
several possibilities for his Fisherman’s ring and he chose the one that was
created for Paul VI.
The other symbol of Pope Francis’ authority that
has a papal connection is the pallium that was placed on his shoulders this
The pallium is made from lamb’s wool and has five
red crosses on it to recall the five wounds of Christ. Major archbishops also
wear palliums signifying their roles as shepherds, but their crosses are
The pallium that Pope Francis received was the
exact same one worn by Benedict XVI, according to Fr.