The Ring of the Fisherman (Latin: Anulus piscatoris; Italian: Anello Piscatorio), also known as the Piscatory Ring, is an official part of the regalia worn by the Pope, who is head of the Catholic Church and successor of Saint Peter, who was a fisherman by trade. It used to feature a bas-relief of Peter fishing from a boat, a symbolism derived from the tradition that the apostles were "fishers of men" (Mark 1:17). The Fisherman's Ring is a signet used until 1842 to seal official documents signed by the Pope.Since at least the Middle Ages it has been a tradition for Catholics meeting the Pope to show their devotion by kissing the ring.
A letter written by Pope Clement IV to his nephew Pietro Grossi in 1265 includes the earliest known mention of the Ring of the Fisherman, which was used for sealing all the pope's private correspondence. Public documents, by contrast, were sealed by stamping a different papal seal onto lead which was attached to the document. Such documents were historically called papal bulls, named after the stamped bulla (seal) of lead.
Use of the Fisherman's Ring changed during the 15th century when it was used to seal official documents called papal briefs. That practice ended in 1842, when the sealing wax was replaced by a stamp which affixed the same device in red ink.[ citation needed ]
A new ring is cast for each Pope as a general practice in tradition. Around the relief image is the reigning Pope's Latin name. During the ceremony of a Papal coronation or Papal inauguration, the Camerlengo traditionally slips the ring on the ring finger of the new Pope's right hand.Benedict XVI had the Dean of the College of Cardinals give him the ring, which he then placed upon himself. Pope Francis was bestowed his ring by Cardinal Sodano at his installation.
Upon a papal death, the ring used to be ceremonially destroyed using a hammer in the presence of other cardinals by the Camerlengo.[ citation needed ] This was done to prevent issuance of forged documents during the sede vacante . Today, the destruction of the ring's device with deep scratches is a symbol of the end of rule of the pope who used to wear that ring.[ citation needed ] This custom was followed after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI by applying two deep cuts, in the shape of a cross, on the signet with a chisel.
Although Pope Benedict XVI wore his Fisherman's Ring daily, it is no longer the custom for popes to wear it at all. Generally, a new pope will either inherit the daily-wear ring of his predecessor, keep an old ring of his own preference, or will choose a new daily-wear style. Pope John Paul I usually wore a wide gold band similar in design to the mitre-shaped Second Vatican Council ring; in imitation of this, Pope John Paul II wore a wide gold crucifix shaped into a ring that had belonged to Pope Paul VI.[ citation needed ]
In former times, a special coronation ring was placed on the pope's finger, designed very large since it was worn over the pope's glove. That custom and the use of a coronation ring ended with Pope Paul VI.[ citation needed ]
Generally, popes of the past wore episcopal rings in keeping with the fashions of the time. Pope Pius XII, for example, often wore a heavily ornate ring set with a stone. Pope Pius IX most often wore a cameo of himself, made entirely of tiny diamonds, whilst Pope Pius X wore a simple, smaller stone-set ring. In keeping with the modern spirit suggested by Pope John XXIII and actually practiced in his later years by Pope Paul VI, Pope Francis only wears a simple gold-plated silver ring for papal ceremonies, preferring to wear a small silver ring from his days as a cardinal.
The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the pope, but for many centuries bestowed by the Holy See upon metropolitans and primates as a symbol of their conferred jurisdictional authorities, and still remains a papal emblem. In its present (western) form, the pallium is a long and "three fingers broad" (narrow) white band adornment, woven from the wool of lambs raised by Trappist monks. It is donned by looping its middle around one's neck, resting upon the chasuble and two dependent lappets over one's shoulders with tail-ends (doubled) on the left with the front end crossing over the rear. When observed from the front or rear the pallium sports a stylistic letter 'y'. It is decorated with six black crosses, one near each end and four spaced out around the neck loop. At times the pallium is embellished fore and aft with three gold gem-headed (dull) stickpins. The doubling and pinning on the left shoulder likely survive from the Roman pallium. The pallium and the omophor originate from the same vestment, the latter a much larger and wider version worn by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic bishops of the Byzantine Rite. A theory relates origination to the paradigm of the Good Shepherd shouldering a lamb, a common early Christian art image — but this may be an explanation a posteriori, however the ritual preparation of the pallium and its subsequent bestowal upon a pope at coronation suggests the shepherd symbolism. The lambs whose fleeces are destined for pallia are solemnly presented at altar by the nuns of the convent of Saint Agnes outside the walls and ultimately the Benedictine nuns of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere weave their wool into pallia.
The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign.
Papabile is an unofficial Italian term first coined by Vaticanologists and now used internationally in many languages to describe a Roman Catholic man, in practice always a cardinal, who is thought a likely or possible candidate to be elected pope. In Italy the term has become very common and people use it for other analogous situations, too.
Angelo Raffaele Sodano, GCC is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church, a Cardinal since 1991. He was the Dean of the College of Cardinals from 2005 to 2019, and Cardinal Secretary of State from 1991 to 2006; Sodano was the first person since 1828 to serve simultaneously as Dean and Secretary of State.
The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church is an office of the papal household that administers the property and revenues of the Holy See. Formerly, his responsibilities included the fiscal administration of the Patrimony of Saint Peter. As regulated in the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus of 1988, the camerlengo is always a cardinal, though this was not the case prior to the 15th century. His heraldic arms are ornamented with two keys – one gold, one silver – in saltire, surmounted by an ombrellino, a canopy or umbrella of alternating red and yellow stripes. These also form part of the coat of arms of the Holy See during a papal interregnum. The camerlengo has been Kevin Farrell since his appointment by Pope Francis on 14 February 2019. The vice camerlengo has been Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari since 1 May 2020.
The mitre or miter, is a type of headgear now known as the traditional, ceremonial headdress of bishops and certain abbots in traditional Christianity. Mitres are worn in the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also by bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church also wears a mitre during important ceremonies such as the Episcopal Consecration.
Sede vacante is a term for the state of an episcopal see while without a bishop. In the canon law of the Catholic Church, the term is used to refer to the vacancy of any see of a particular church, but it comes into especially wide journalistic use when the see is that of the papacy.
Universi Dominici gregis is an apostolic constitution of the Catholic Church issued by Pope John Paul II on 22 February 1996. It superseded Pope Paul VI's 1975 apostolic constitution, Romano Pontifici eligendo, and all previous apostolic constitutions and orders on the subject of the election of the Roman Pontiff.
A papal conclave is a gathering of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a bishop of Rome, also known as the pope. The pope is considered by Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Catholic Church.
A Papal Mass is the Solemn Pontifical High Mass celebrated by the Pope. It is celebrated on such occasions as a papal coronation, an ex cathedra pronouncement, the canonization of a saint, on Easter or Christmas or other major feast days.
Papal regalia and insignia are the official items of attire and decoration proper to the Pope in his capacity as the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.
The 2005 papal conclave was convened to elect a new pope following the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April 2005. After his death, the cardinals of the Catholic Church who were in Rome met and set a date for the beginning of the conclave to elect his successor. Of the 117 eligible members of the College of Cardinals, those younger than 80 years of age at the time of the death of Pope John Paul II, all but two attended. After several days of private meetings attended by both cardinal electors and non-voting cardinals, the conclave began on 18 April 2005. It ended the following day after four ballots with the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. After accepting his election, he took the pontifical name of Benedict XVI.
The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Catholic Church observes nine days of mourning.
Papal inauguration is a liturgical service of the Catholic Church within Mass celebrated in the Roman Rite but with elements of Byzantine Rite for the ecclesiastical investiture of a pope. Since the inauguration of Pope John Paul I, it has not included the 820-year-old (1143–1963) papal coronation ceremony.
The Papal shoes were the red leather outdoor shoes worn by the Pope. They should not be confused with the indoor Papal slippers or the Episcopal sandals, which are the liturgical footwear proper to all ordained Catholic bishops of the Latin Rite.
The mozzetta is a short elbow-length sartorial vestment, a cape that covers the shoulders and is buttoned over the frontal breast area. It is worn over the rochet or cotta as part of choir dress by some of the clergy of the Catholic Church, among them the pope, cardinals, bishops, abbots, canons and religious superiors. There used to be a small hood on the back of the mozzetta of bishops and cardinals, but this was discontinued by Pope Paul VI. The hood, however, was retained in the mozzette of certain canons and abbots, and in that of the popes, often trimmed in satin, silk or ermine material.
A papal brief or breve is a formal document emanating from the Pope, in a somewhat simpler and more modern form than a papal bull.
The Papal Mint is the pope's institute for the production of hard cash. Papal Mint also refers to the buildings in Avignon, Rome, and elsewhere that used to house the mint..
An ecclesiastical ring is a finger ring worn by clergy, such as a bishop's ring.
The Papal inauguration of Pope Francis was held on 19 March 2013 in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. Holy Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis before political and religious leaders from around the world. The crowd was estimated between 150,000 and 200,000. Official delegations from 132 states and various religious groups attended. It was the first papal inauguration attended by the Patriarch of Constantinople in over 1,000 years.
[The ring] was passed to Pope Benedict XVI by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Cardinal Sodano. Mr Franchi, too, was present at the introduction. Watching the Pope stick the ring on his finger was a memorable experience to him.
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