The Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago today, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, I had the privilege of attending the Pallium Mass offered by Pope Benedict XVI (aka the Once and Future Pontifex) in St. Peter’s Basilica. The pallium is a woolen vestment that the Pope bestows on new metropolitan archbishops. The Pope blesses and bestows the pallium on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul as a sign of unity between the new archbishops and himself as Successor of St. Peter and Prince of the Apostles. Formerly (starting with Pope St. John Paul II and ending with Pope Francis) the Pope bestowed the pallium in person in Rome.

The first photo shows Pope Benedict walking up the nave of St. Peter’s toward the high altar at the beginning of the Mass.

255.JPGThis is why they need to bring back the sedia gestatoria—the portable throne on which they used to carry the Pope. It might help prevent everyone from rushing up to take photos of the Pope as he passes. (Or not.)

Here is Pope Benedict at the high altar at St. Peter’s.

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Pope Benedict seated.

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The centuries-old statue of St. Peter in the nave of St. Peter’s Basilica. They deck it out in pre-Vatican II papal regalia, including the papal tiara, on St. Peter’s feast days.

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Below, Cardinal Arinze. Part of me wishes he had been elected in 2005. I doubt he would have resigned. I thought I also had a photo of Cardinal Bertone, but I must have deleted it. Hah!

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St. Peter is one of my patron saints, so it was a great blessing to hear Mass on his solemnity in his own basilica, in the presence of his successor.

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